Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.

Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.

Credit: Paúl Rivera/Archphoto

Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.

Green Points: The 200,000-square-foot (18,580-m2) Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, or EMPAC, houses a 1,200-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theater with a full fly tower, an audio and video production suite, artists-in-residence studios, and a dance studio. Design difficulties presented by the steep hillside were turned into architectural advantages; the entrance is located at the highest elevation. Occupied spaces are above ground, with access to daylight and natural ventilation. Approximately 50 percent of the buildingmainly the studiosis below grade. Many building materials include post-industrial or post-consumer recycled content, such as structural steel, steel grating systems, rebar, wire mesh, mortar, and light-gauge metal framing and ceilings. Other sustainable features include an electric-vehicle charging station, dual-flush toilets, a 20,000-cubic-foot (566-m3) underground water-detention tank, HVAC systems with variable-speed dials, daylighting, and 75 percent construction-waste recycling.

People: Design architect, Grimshaw, New York; architect of record, Davis Brody Bond Aedas, New York; structural, mechanical, and plumbing engineer, sustainability consultants, and simulation analysis consultant, Buro Happold, New York; electrical engineers, Buro Happold and Laszlo Bodak Engineering, New York; LEED consultants, Buro Happold and Turner Construction Co.; landscape architect, The Saratoga Associates, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; civil engineer, Clough, Harbour and Associates, Albany, N.Y.; architectural lighting, Office for Visual Interaction, New York; fire engineering, Arup Fire, New York; commissioning agent, Aramark, Philadelphia

Materials and Sources: Curtainwall glass, Okalux, Elmsford, N.Y.; steel curtainwall, Josef Gartner USA, Schaumburg, Ill.; acoustic ceilings, Ultima Tegular and Optima Open Plan from Armstrong, Lancaster, Pa., Eclipse ClimaPlus from USG, Chicago, and Illusions from Ceilings Plus, Los Angeles; skylight, Texlon Foil System from Vector Foiltec, New York; interior paint, Pittsburgh Paints, Pittsburgh; flooring, Static Smart Carpet Tile from Julie Industries, North Reading, Mass., Au Courant Carpet from Bentley Prince Street, City of Industry, Calif., and Marmotte Sheet Vinyl from Armstrong Industries, Lancaster, Pa.; electric-car charging station, EVI DS-100 Level 2 Charging Station from eTec Minit Charger, Phoenix

Mint Dental Works, Portland, Ore.

Mint Dental Works, Portland, Ore.

Credit: Jason and Rebecca McMillan

Mint Dental Works, Portland, Ore.

Green Points: Mint Dental Works achieved LEED for Commercial Interiors Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council by promoting sustainable building solutions through the renovation of its new space. The HVAC system includes a fresh-air exchange and carbon dioxide sensors, and the cabinets are constructed with local pre-consumer recycled wood-fiber particleboard. The office is mercury free; a specialized filtration system ensures the safe disposal of the mercury waste when old fillings are removed. A digital panoramic X-ray unit eliminates film processing and exposes patients to up to 90 percent less radiation than standard X-rays. Low-flow fixtures, Energy Star appliances, sensor-operated faucets, hand-sanitizer pumps, and a waterless dental vacuum system combine to result in an estimated annual savings of 220,000 gallons (832,790 L) of water. Approximately 50 percent of the electricity purchased by the office comes from wind sources, 40 percent from geothermal sources, and 10 percent from biomass (wood waste). Other sustainable features include on-site stormwater management and daylighting.

People: Interior designer, Paolo Design Group, Portland, Ore.; general contractor, R&H Construction Co., Portland; mechanical engineer, American Heating, Portland; commissioning agent, BEA, Portland; energy modeling and sustainability consultant, Green Building Services, Portland

Materials and Sources: Carpet tile, Shaw Industries, Dalton, Ga.; rubber base, Roppe Corp. USA, Fostoria, Ohio; furniture, Herman Miller, Zeeland, Mich.; concrete countertops, Eco-Cem, Miami; recycled content countertops, Avonite Surfaces, Florence, Ky.; gypsum board products, Georgia-Pacific Corp., Atlanta; steel studs, Steeler, Seattle; seating upholstery, Carnegie Fabrics, Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Momentum Textiles, Irvine, Calif.; wood products, Roseburg Forest Products, Dillard, Ore.

Princess Elisabeth Research Station, Antarctica

Princess Elisabeth Research Station, Antarctica

Credit: International Polar Foundation

Princess Elisabeth Research Station, Antarctica

Green Points: Designed, built, and financed by the International Polar Foundation, the Princess Elisabeth Research Station in Antarctica is intended to be “zero emission.” Two bioreactors and two filtration units allow the station to treat 100 percent of its water and then reuse 75 percent of it. The station’s water treatment unit uses microorganism digestion and aerobic decomposition to rid graywater and blackwater of its organic matter, and then chemical treatments remove nondecomposable components such as heavy metals. The water then is subject to treatment using ultraviolet radiation. Wind power is used to supply the station with electricity, and solar power will provide electricity and hot water. Wind turbines generate 90 megawatt-hours/year of electricity and the 408 photovoltaic solar panels generate 46 megawatt-hours/year. The station also will be equipped with 258 square feet (24 m2) of solar panels to create hot water. The building is positioned to take advantage of passive building techniques: The station’s outer skin, insulation, shape, orientation, and window disposition allow a comfortable ambient temperature to be maintained with little energy input. In addition to its good insulation, the building envelope is lined with a waterproofing material that prevents air leaks. A ventilation system will be installed to maintain adequate indoor air quality. All electrical systems are integrated and piloted by an intelligent central unit control system that ensures that all working and living conditions inside the station are optimized with minimal resource production and consumption; it also allows for remote monitoring during the winter when the station is vacated. A battery grid consisting of four double valve–regulated lead acid battery packs with a total capacity of 8,000 ampere-hours will help store and release energy provided by the wind turbines and solar panels as needed. More information is available at www.antarcticstation.org.

People: Design, construction, and engineering, International Polar Foundation, Brussels

Orange County Animal Services Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Orange County Animal Services Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Credit: Reid Highley

Orange County Animal Services Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Green Points: The design of this animal shelter keeps animal welfare and disease prevention at the forefront, while employing numerous green strategies. Two 12,000-gallon (45,425-L) cisterns capture roof runoff and store well water for filtration and use in cleaning and disinfecting animal runs. Daylight illuminates the majority of the facility. Large roof overhangs, low-E glass, and aluminum canopies limit heat gain in the summer while minimizing the need for artificial lighting year-round. When it is necessary, the shelter's daylighting is supplemented by energy-efficient light fixtures controlled with multiple-level switches and occupancy sensors. Energy-recovery units are installed on the HVAC units; this technology is able to capture energy that otherwise would be exhausted outside. (For more on energy-recovery technology, see page 60.)

People: Architect, Dixon Weinstein Friedlein Architects, Carrboro, N.C.; consulting architect, Animal Arts, Boulder, Colo.; contractor, Clancy & Theys, Raleigh, N.C.; landscape architect, Swanson and Associates, Carrboro; structural engineer, Stewart Engineering, Raleigh, N.C.; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineer, Spring Stoops McCullen Engineering, Durham, N.C.; civil engineer, Civil Consultants, Durham.

Materials and Sources: Rainwater collection, Stay-Right Precast Concrete, Franklinton, N.C.; roof water filters, Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co., Montgomery, Ala.; high-reflectance single-ply roofing, Carlisle SynTec, Carlisle, Pa.; glazing, PPG Industries, Pittsburgh; air-handling units, AAON, Tulsa, Okla.; porous paving, Invisible Structures, Golden, Colo.; fabric ducts, Euro Air A/S, Vejen, Denmark; concrete block insulation, Tailored Chemical Products, Hickory, N.C.

Urban Reserve, Dallas

Urban Reserve, Dallas

Credit: Charles Davis Smith, AIA

Urban Reserve, Dallas

Green Points: Urban Reserve is a modern Dallas neighborhood with specially created landscaping suitable for Dallas’ hot, dry summers. The neighborhood is about 10 acres (4 hectares) and is organized along a single street approximately 1,000 feet (305 m) long. Landscape architect Kevin Sloan tilted the street 2 percent asymmetrically so all the water flows to one side. This “wet” side has cypress trees and other plants that can sustain flooding. The other side of the street—the “dry” side—uses a xeriscaping strategy. No irrigation is needed and the trees are hardy species that can exist in places where there isn’t a lot of rain. The ground plane consists of decomposed granite, a paving material that creates a fine gravel that is comfortable walk on, similar to what is found in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. Before being developed, the land had been used as a dumping ground; it was littered with debris, earthfill, concrete slabs, and broken-up masonry. The team reused that waste to build walls, make pavement and prevent erosion around detention facilities.

People: Landscape architect, Kevin Sloan Studio, Dallas

Little Building Café, Starkville, Miss.

Little Building Café, Starkville, Miss.

Credit: Rinne Allen

Little Building Café, Starkville, Miss.

Green Points: The Little Building Café is constructed and furnished almost entirely of recycled materials and serves regional cuisine, such as pear preserve muffins and grilled cheese on brioche. The building was the home of a former dry-cleaning facility that was renovated for the café. About 75 percent of the wall studs were from the original building’s wood studs and beadboard was salvaged from the ceiling in the back and reworked into the bench seat now at the front of the café. Wire glass from the original skylights is used as a clerestory in the bathroom and bedrooms in the apartment behind the café, and 16 seer R410A non-ozone-depleting refrigerant is used for the air conditioning. R-50 cellulose insulation is used throughout the structure. The apartment behind the café was constructed using sustainable materials.

People: Architect, Annie Coggan and Caleb Crawford, Starkville, Miss.

Materials and Sources: Floor, Old Mississippi Brick Co., Holly Springs, Miss.; recycled glass pebble tiles, Modwalls, Scotts Valley, Calif.; aluminum-clad windows, Marvin, Warroad, Minn., and Lincoln, Merrill, Wis.; natural gas tankless water heater, Rinnai, Peachtree City, Ga.; solar hot-water system, Stiebel Eltron, West Hatfield, Mass.

Old Trail School, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Old Trail School, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Credit: Zodiac Photography

Old Trail School, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Green Points: Old Trail School is an independent school with 560 students, which recently updated its failing, on-site wastewater treatment system and chose a unique proprietary system to treat all wastewater. The system is composed of three different wetland processes that treat 5,000 gallons (18,925 L) of wastewater per day. The first process, the Horizontal Flow Wetland, removes carbohydrates in wastewater as it flows laterally across a bed filled with aggregate and aquatic vegetation. The second, the Tidal Flow Wetlands, located inside a greenhouse for year-round student access, removes nitrogen. The final process, the Vertical Flow Wetland, polishes residual nutrients and solids as water trickles through its bed. Wastewater flow occurs underground in the pore spaces between the rock particles so there is no smell, mosquitoes, or contamination of students or wildlife. A computer control system integrates the three ecosystems, optimizing performance and recording system information for students and operators to view online. Treated water meets National Park discharge standards and flows directly into a stream on the school’s grounds, then into the Cuyahoga River.

People: Architect and structural engineer, Hasenstab Architects, Akron, Ohio; system design, engineering, commissioning, and operations, Worrell Water Technologies, Charlottesville, Va.

Materials and Sources: Wastewater treatment, Living Machine from Worrell Water Technologies, Charlottesville; control equipment, Siemens, New York; pumps, Sta-Rite Industries, Delavan, Wis., Grundfos Pumps Corp., Olathe, Kan., and Myers, Ashland, Ohio; flow meters, Khrone, Peabody, Mass., and George Fischer Signet, El Monte, Calif.; automated valves, Asahi, Malden, Mass.; wetland containment, Firestone, Indianapolis; wetland treatment media, DiGeronimo Aggregates, Independence, Ohio