Sustainable design is also at the root of Sparano + Mooney’s proposed facility and they explore a number of ways to increase the efficiency of the existing facility as well as to ensure the addition is making a positive impact in town. The historic building is in need of basic upgrades in order to meet with new codes, but it also needs significant envelope upgrades in the way of sealing, insulation and structural support. High efficiency mechanical systems reduce energy use, while providing ideal museum conditions. New energy efficient lighting will be designed in conjunction with daylighting studies to provide optimum conditions for both the art work in the galleries as well as the people who visit the space.
Sustainably-harvested beetle-kill pine will be used extensively throughout to infuse the space with natural materials and evoke nature. The glass facade on the new addition will feature a printed fritting pattern on the interior to resemble aspen trees. This fritting works to filter daylight, control solar heat gain and protect the artwork. The exterior of the glass is to be outfitted with a electricity-generating photovoltaic skin. This frees up the rooftop deck and terrace for outdoor event space. Flexibility in space also allows the Kimball Art Center to make the most out of their facilities and be able to hold multiple events at the same time without having to over build.