The Health Professions & Student Services Building was designed and sited to reduce energy consumption, maximize resource conservation and minimize waste. The goal to achieve "net zero energy" pushed the design team to create a building that over time would provide more energy than it will use. It required the integration of many conservation measures to achieve these efficiencies. In future designs, it will serve as a gateway to integrate new ideas to achieve even greater efficiencies. The building's design creates a "new baseline" in green building design.
The design team used what is called an Integrated Design Process. Modern buildings have very complicated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, requiring architects to work very closely with engineers and owners to make design decisions. An example of this in action was the use of natural daylight - a key component of the building's sustainable design. Computer simulation models were used to help design the sun shades and light shelf's on the south façade. These models calculated the suns exact path and angle over the course of the year. Using these models it was able to design a facade system to both filter and maximize the use of natural daylight.
Facility-specific sustainable features include: siting to take advantage of southern exposure; use of daylight to reduce lighting needs , use of renewable energy sources to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs; and incorporation of a green roof to help cool building in summer and retain heat in winter.
The building will benefit the College and the Commonwealth by: