Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Gausman & Moore engineered the mechanical and electrical systems for this net-zero energy outdoor classroom. The 1,995-square-foot building provides a permanent structure for students learning or conducting research in the Bagley Nature Area, something that was not previously available.
The building, located on a 55-acre site, was built on a hilltop to avoid disturbing undeveloped land. A primary goal was achieving minimum environmental impact while also being energy efficient. The facility serves students and staff from eight different departments.
The photovoltaic (PV) system consists of twenty-eight 200-watt Sanyo HIT panels tied to the utility grid via a 6000w automatic voltage sensing inverter with integral four string DC disconnect switch. A Sunnyboy WebBox allows the owner to monitor the system power production. Monitoring can be accomplished either via the internet or directly through the campus network system.
Based on solar modeling, this system produces power on an average of 4.5 hours a day over the course of a year and generates approximately 7840 kwh annually.Additional sustainable systems include instantaneous electric hot water boiler, air-to-air heat exchanger, composting toilets, low flow lavatories, daylight harvesting, and individual branch circuit metering to facilitate energy usage analysis.
The project achieved LEED Platinum certification. It was also the recipient of the 2010 AIA MN Honor Award and the 2012 AIA Committee on the Environment (AIA-COTE) Top Ten Green Project Award. The project was designed to PassivHaus™ standards.
Since its completion in 2010, the building has performed beyond expectations in terms of performance efficiency and the frequency of occupancy. The building is used for both classes and University events.
Total EUI (kBtu per square foot per year): 36
Net EUI (kBtu per square foot per year): 27
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