The Science Center will set a new standard in energy efficiency. The average science building uses 370 kiloBTUs per square foot per year. We intend to reduce that by 73 percent or more through a variety of features such as a highly sophisticated HVAC system, a rooftop solar array and state-of-the-art insulation and building materials.
The new dorms will use passive design to create a highly comfortable and low-energy building. Most of the strategies are low-tech, but when used in an integrated design, they have a large impact on building performance. The following diagrams illustrate the sustainability concepts.
- Rainwater harvest—Dorm roofs tilt in to capture rainwater and snow. All roof drainage runs to a 10,000-gallon tank and is reused as “grey water.”
- Natural ventilation—Cross and natural ventilation is provided in corridors and common areas.
- Solar Control—Fixed window shades provide solar protection from direct beams in high summer sun.
- Lighting—High-efficiency LED lighting throughout and position and depth of dorm rooms allow occupants to use sunlight most of the day.
- Design—Wide, cascading stairs placed next to full-length windows, along with low floor-to-floor height, encourage walking in lieu of elevators.
The Greenway was designed to work with nature instead of against it.
- Amphitheater topography is designed to direct rainwater for quick drainage.
- Rainwater gardens temporarily retain runoff.
- Plantings used throughout are hardy New-England-appropriate varieties that provide visual interest in every season. Orchard trees were chosen for their early spring blooms and vivid fall foliage. Rain Garden plantings are flowering, water-tolerant plants.