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North Shore Community College’s Solar-Powered Health Professions Center Achieves Zero Net Energy
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the proud owner of this new ZNEB building, and in partnership with the Department of Capital Asset Management, Governor Deval Patrick brought together the team of architect DiMella Shaffer and construction manager Walsh Brothers Construction. NSCC President, Wayne Burton knew that “as an educational institution, [they had] an obligation to be a regional leader in many ways, and one is to make sure that [they taught their] students by example”. President Burton challenged the team to look at this building as an opportunity to urge the NSCC students to think about conserving resources.
The conservation of resources for this project started through careful site consideration based on solar orientation. The DiMella Shaffer team also tackled the task of achieving zero net energy through the following three energy design strategies: minimize energy loss and heat gain by designing most energy efficient exterior building envelope, maximize the use of natural daylight to reduce electrical demands, and reduce energy usage by specifying highly efficient mechanical and electrical systems. Clerestory windows, interior and exterior light shelves, efficient geothermal heat pumps, energy recovery units, grey water systems, high performance lighting, chilled beam technology, and a radiant heating/cooling system were all strategies that the team implemented to achieve a highly energy efficient building.
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