Walking Mountains Science Center - LEED Platinum in a Small Mountain Town


Published on

Published in: Design, Technology, Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Walking Mountains Science Center - LEED Platinum in a Small Mountain Town

  1. A LEED Platinum Case Study in Avon, Colorado
  2. ?What is Rivers Flow…
  3. ?What is Trees Stretch…
  4. ?What is Mountains Walk…
  5. ? What isRevolving and evolving, the earth and all of its creatures are in a constant state of movement and change.
  6. ? What isMission: To awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship through natural science education
  7. ? What isPlace-based natural science education fosters critical thinking & teaches the scientific method.
  8. Client Vision – Team Goals Where did we Start?• The Facility Exists to Support the Educational Plan• Inspire and Teach Through Design• Catalyze a Construction Industry Transformation• Create a Regional Knowledge Resource• Preserve and Enhance the Site• Embrace Site Learning Opportunities• Encourage Discovery• Unify Exhibits, Buildings and Site as a Common Experience• Create a Strong Indoor-Outdoor Relationship
  9. Project Environmental Goals• Achieve LEED Platinum… and beyond – Client asked us what we could achieve and what would it teach?• Use project to demonstrate and educate about sustainable design• Reduce fossil fuel use on site• Maximize the use of regional materials and materials with a story• Minimize impact to wetlands and mitigate all impacts on site• Use Bio-Mimicry design principals: work with the natural systems• Maximize on site energy production: passive and active• Create comfortable, healthy and inspiring workspaces
  10. Project Overview• Donated Land. Could not afford to build without land donation.• Just over 4 acre site yet only .75 acres is buildable• Completed campus is approximately 16,500 s.f. gross• The program area is divided into four buildings – The Mountain Discover Center (MDC) – The Field Studies Base Camp (FSBC) – The Meadow Learning Studio (MLS) – The Graduate Fellows Residence (GFR)• MDC and FSBC are nearing completion. Construction on the MLS is beginning and will complete by October this year.• GFR awaits additional funding.
  11. The ConceptThe Core Team:
  12. So, how did we get here? It all begins with the land and location…
  13. Beaver Creek AvonSite
  14. 5 acres of donated land at 7,600’ elevation
  15. Historic Uses Nottingham Homestead, 1975View of Buck Creek, 1923
  16. Site Constraints• Jurisdictional wetlands Surveyed• High groundwater Delineation• Buck Creek setback Of Wetlands• 100’ power line easement• Steep fill slope for Buck Creek Road NW of site• Lack of water rights to pond and creek• Existing vehicular access inadequate for new uses• No access to land east of Buck Creek; steep slopes• Bottom line: extremely limited buildable area
  17. Guiding Principles - Site Plan• Maximum integration of buildings with the outdoor environment• Campus-like layout of multiple buildings• Buildings oriented south for sun, creek and views• Pedestrian-only campus core with central events meadow & amphitheater• Parking sited in power line easement where buildings are prohibited• Multiple outdoor spaces of varying sizes for classes and gatherings• All facilities to be ADA- accessible
  18. LEED Strategy Three Core Concepts That Were Key to Our Success:• Team commitment to an integrated design process ensured that each decision supported multiple project goals and LEED points.• Client involvement in the campus design and clearly stated environmental goals were essential to maximize environmental and operational efficiency of the completed project.• Bringing the contractor into the design team early in the process was key to balancing budget and environmental goals.
  19. ™LEED PlatinumIs it possible in a small mountain town?• It takes 52 points to achieve LEED Platinum (under LEED NC V2.2)• Initial checklist revealed 8 points that were not achievable: – SS C1 Site Selection: No opportunity to select a different site or to avoid wetland impacts on this one. – SS C2 Density and Community Connectivity: Avon isnt urban. – SS C3 Brownfield Redevelopment: Not relevant here. – SS C4.1 Public Transportation: No Avon or county buses stop nearby…yet. – WE C2 Innovative Wastewater Treatment: Colorado water laws on consumptive use prohibit using rainwater or graywater. – MR C1.1 Building Re-use (75%): No existing buildings on the site... – MR C1.2 Building Re-Use (90%): ...at least not any more. – MR C1.3 Building Re-Use (50% of interior): Ditto, no chance.
  20. ™LEED PlatinumIs it possible in a small mountain town?• Another 6 points were certain to be difficult: – WE C1.2 Irrigation with Non-Potable Water: Requires water rights. – MR C3.2 Materials Re-Use (10%): budget may not support higher %. – MR C4.2 Recycled Content (30%): Added cost hard to justify for a non-profit organization reliant on donations. – MR C5.2 Regional Materials (20%): Not much manufacturing in CO. – MR C6 Rapidly Renewable Materials: Very few regional sources. – EQ C2 Increased Ventilation: Mixed ventilation strategy - more $. This left the project with 55 points the team felt were realistic and achievable….with effort. Not much of a margin to achieve Platinum.
  21. Sustainable Sites Credits Integrating Buildings and Nature on a Sensitive Site• No ability to affect site selection; wetland impact unavoidable.• Large undeveloped project area is an advantage for earning credits related to habitat preservation, open space, and heat island effects.
  22. Sustainable Sites Wetlands and the Soul of an Environmental Organization• Sensitive treatment of wetlands is central to school’s mission.• Wetlands lost for the access road totals 0.07 acres (about 3,000 SF).• Approved mitigation plan: replace wetlands lost at 1:1 ratio by creating new self-sustaining wetlands on site; salvage hydric soils and plant material from disturbed wetlands.
  23. Sustainable Sites Strategies to Mitigate Wetland Impacts• Innovative road construction technique reduces extent of grading into wetlands.• New wetlands are supported by redirected surface and ground water flows.• Surface run-off is filtered naturally before it flows into wetland areas.
  24. Sustainable Sites Making the Wetlands An Opportunity for Learning
  25. Sustainable Sites Maintaining and Restoring Natural Hydrologic SystemsPortions of Buck Creek were reconstructed to prevent further undercutting of the channel.
  26. Sustainable Sites Integrating Buildings and Nature on a Sensitive SiteVegetated canopy collects, absorbs and filters roof runoff and directs overflow to wetlands.
  27. Sustainable Sites Integrating Buildings and Nature on a Sensitive SitePervious paver system, graveled courtyard and unpaved pathways allow runoff to infiltrate.
  28. Energy and Atmosphere Keep it Simple!
  29. Energy and Atmosphere Modern Agrarian- building for the sun and wind• Building design and locations respond to natural forces on the site including Solar Access, Wetland Impact and Natural Cooling potential, and embraces Views and Educational Opportunities on the site• Simple building forms recall the rich cultural history of this site AND simple building forms are easier to insulate and seal and less reliant on complicated energy strategies• Elongated buildings east and west for maximum solar collection• Narrow profile north to south for natural ventilation, cooling and natural light• No interior connections between buildings purposefully make the elements part of the daily experience of the campus• Cluster glazing on façade to promote transparency and indoor-outdoor connections
  30. Energy and Atmosphere Timeless Strategies and Inspiring Design
  31. Energy and Atmosphere Building Envelope - its OK to be Obsessive Compulsive• Efficient building envelope is an important first strategy – keep energy where you want it!• Eliminate thermal bridges with continuous insulation.• Double wall chosen because of unique condition at foundation and slab• Seal the building up and control infiltration and ventilation• Strong team approach, need everyone looking for and eliminating “holes”• Result: “Seal Tight, Insulate Right
  32. Building Envelope• Must be airtight• Efficient windows are key• Only then is extra insulation worth it.Our solution:• 4” (min) of spray polyurethane foam on the exterior side of the wall • Prevents air infiltration and condensation within the cavity • Foam sprayed around structure and blocking.• Remaining wall filled with cellulose • Cellulose can absorb and release moisture • Blown Cellulose fills the space between the walls creating a thermal break• Total wall is roughly R45• Roof is 4” rigid foam over 14” rafter space filled with cellulose = R75
  33. Thermal Bridges R-45• Architectural Style dictated an exposed concrete base to recall historic barns in the region• Deep foundation and a structural slab meant no under-slab insulation R-28• Exposed polished concrete floor finish• Solution: hi-load rigid foam insulation between the slabs thermally connected to a double stud wall• Wall and floor insulation connected with only wood blocking between• Topping slab thickened to provide thermal mass for radiant heating• 1” continuous space between walls to provide a thermal break
  34. Slab to Wall Detail in the Field
  35. Slab to Wall Detail in the Field
  36. Double Wall Construction
  37. Double Wall Construction
  38. The Finished Wall
  39. High Performance Glazing Fixed Windows: U-0.11 Operable Windows: U-0.16 (these are whole unit values)
  40. Weather Barrier and Exterior Penetrations
  41. Weather Barrier and Exterior Penetrations
  42. Energy and Atmosphere Mechanical Systems – Complicated Simplicity• Goal - To minimize fossil fuel burning on site• Solutions: – Centralize the Mechanical System • Makes the 3 stage system possible – 3 stage mechanical system – maximize heat from earth and sun • Stage one: Solar Thermal Collectors • Stage two: 3-5 ton ground source heat pump (Solar PV to offset elec. use) • Stage three: 95% efficient boiler. – Monitor Everything - Only Smart Buildings can Learn!
  43. The Central Mechanical Plant96% efficient boiler (the size of a suitcase) Solar hot water storage and piping
  44. The Central Mechanical Plant boiler and heat pump (right) btu meter
  45. Indoor Environmental Quality Natural Light and Ventilation• Natural cooling and ventilation is easy in our mountain environment, but you have to use good design principals from the beginning• Unwise to rely on opening windows for ventilation in the winter so a redundant mechanical ventilation system is also installed – All mechanical ventilation uses energy recovery ventilators• Buildings are narrow to promote natural light and cross ventilation – The interior walls of the conference rooms and executive director’s office have operable and fixed windows to promote cross ventilation and convey daylight• Building orientation takes maximum advantage of daily diurnal breezes in the Buck Creek valley• Sunshades and roof overhangs are tuned to shield interior from the summer sun
  46. Indoor Environmental Quality Natural Light and Ventilation
  47. Indoor Environmental Quality Natural Light and Ventilation
  48. Diurnal Breezes
  49. Innovation and Design Process Focusing on Energy and Education• Model showing a 70% reduction in energy use for the MDC and 85% reduction at the FSBC – 45.5% needed for EP• Project will produce 36% of electrical energy needed on site – 17.5% needed for EP• Entire project is designed to teach sustainability in buildings, site and in personal actions – All major systems and consumables are monitored 24/7 and the data is reported on a building dashboard touch screen and over the web. This includes gas, major electrical circuits, water, irrigation & btuh’s created and used – Wetland Mitigation will be monitored by school children and reported to the Corp of Engineers as part of the mitigation plan – Small icons will identify sustainable features of the project and correspond to a brochure walking tour
  50. The Result
  51. The Result
  52. Thank You Opportunities to Learn More• www.walkingmountains.org – Organization Website• http://be.net/gallery/Walking-Mountains-Science-Center/3212193 – Web project portfolio• https://picasaweb.google.com/brisiCO – Weekly photo albums of construction progress since September 2010