The three-story , 46,000-sf building , which cost $47 million to complete , features two stories of teaching laboratories , community spaces and interactive classrooms , joined by a shared atrium that serves as a “learning commons” and student living room.
To achieve zero net energy goals in a facility with a large amount of energy consuming lab space , the design incorporates a large solar array field over the adjacent parking lot that works in tandem with a PV array on the roof of the building. The new facility is projected to use less than 20% of the new array and no fossil fuels for heating and cooling.
The Building Team also installed geothermal wells 500 feet below ground level that feed a ground source heat pump. This was coupled with an air source heat pump to provide heating and cooling to the building. In addition , 12 of the building’s 16 fume hoods filter and return air to the space , rather than exhausting it out into the atmosphere.
The building team manager notes that one of this project’s challenges was the installation of three prefabricated mechanical room pieces , each 10 to 15 tons , that needed to be rigged through the structure , and placed during ongoing construction. Offsite commissioning , including control testing , allowed for plug and play of the mechanical room as well as critical control sequences.