Engineering Education on Display

Engineering Education on Display

Montana State University, Norm Asbjornson Hall


Show project info
Hide project info

Symbolic of the innovative and cross-disciplinary activities happening within, Norm Asbjornson Hall represents a transformation in the way engineering is taught both at Montana State University and across the nation. The building sheds traditional siloes to promote dynamic interdisciplinary engagement, meaningful student-faculty interaction, and innovation that responds to and anticipates emerging trends in education, industry and society.

Though the building program is anchored in the College of Engineering, Norm Asbjornson Hall is open to all on campus and also houses the Honors College, strengthening the interdisciplinary nature of the facility. As the first major expansion project outside the campus core, the building serves as a new gateway to the university.


Bozeman, MT

Square Feet


Completion date


Project Component

Architecture services

Interior design and planning

Landscape services


LEED Platinum®

The heart and soul of Norm Asbjornson Hall is the Commons. Unlike many traditional academic buildings, the active program of engineering education and collaboration spills out of the classrooms and labs into the central Commons, exposing the learning process to students of other disciplines and encouraging spontaneous interactions and collisions of ideas. Transparency into and through the classrooms and labs on either side of the Commons supports the idea of engineering on display.

The new facility is built largely from a generous donation from MSU alumnus Norm Asbjornson, a successful engineer and entrepreneur in the HVAC industry. More than a much-needed expansion of the growing College of Engineering, the building embodies Norm’s vision to create an innovation hub that brings together varied disciplines and modes of learning in unexpected ways. Part of Norm’s story is that he graduated with a degree in engineering but didn’t know how to develop a business plan or bring a product to market. With this building, he hoped to create an environment where students would learn how to realize their ideas by collaborating across disciplines, skillsets and experiences.

The building itself also serves as a teaching tool and living laboratory where cutting-edge building systems and sustainability features are on display. The facility is one of only 10 LEED Platinum® certified buildings in Montana and is Net Zero Energy-ready.