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Iran Building and Construction Materials Database

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Zero Energy Academic Building

Zero Energy Academic Building

The John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building claims to be the largest zero net energy academic building in the Northeast.

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.

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