Reflecting the values of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, which is located within its walls, Kroon Hall is designed as a model for sustainable building. To create this inspiring building, Yale brought together a dream team of some of the world’s leading architects and engineers: Hopkins Architects, Centerbrook Architects and Planners, ARUP, Atelier Ten, and The Olin Studio. Following Yale University’s sustainability mission, Kroon Hall is designed to use 58 percent less energy than a comparably-sized modern building.
The building uses a very interesting technique to provide the heating and cooling: The lowest floor is set into a hillside with only its south side exposed, providing thermal insulation and minimizing northern exposure. The long south façade maximizes solar exposure during the winter.
The tall façade is mainly covered with glass, ensuring that the interior gets as much natural light as posible. Light and occupancy sensors dim the artificial light whenever there is ample daylight. Half of Kroon Hall’s red oak paneling — 15,000 board feet —c ame from the 7,840-acre Yale-Myers Forest in northern Connecticut, which is managed by the university and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Concrete is used all over the building to provide for insulation against temperature variations. Fifty percent of the concrete mix is blast slag, a postindustrial recycled material.
An innovative system of ventilation, an energy-saving displacement ventilation system moves warm and cool air through an air plenum and multiple diffusers in elevated floors. Low-velocity fans in the basement keep the air circulating throughout the building. A 100-kilowatt rooftop array of photovoltaic panels provides about 25 percent of the electricity for the building.
So one can safely say that Kroon Hall is an epitome of sustainability, using renewable energy in every form possible. Hopefully other universities will follow Yale’s lead, and we see many more innovative-yet-simple applications of green technology in architecture.
Via Yale News
Photos © Morley Von Sternberg