The Leader Magazine

JUN 2018

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the leader June 2018 15 Owner: Rocky Mountain Institute Design architect: ZGF Architects LLP High-performance design: Architectural Applications Associated architect: Graybeal Architects LLP Landscape architect: DHM Design Structural engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers MEP engineer: PAE Consulting Engineers Mechanical contractor: MTEch Mechanical Electrical contractor: E Light Electric Civil engineer: Sopris Engineering LLC Passive House: Green Hammer Acoustics: Altermatt Associates Lighting: David Nelson & Associates Building commissioning: Resource Engineering Group Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center project team Rethought: building envelope Proving that NZE is practical even at 6,600 feet (2,012 m.) above sea level – and therefore anywhere else in the U.S. – was a tall order. First, the team assumed no building systems; instead, it studied multiple fenestration, orientation and program layouts to optimize the form and envelope to mitigate external temperatures that can swing 40 degrees in a single day. Sealed and wrapped in a highly insulated warm coat, the envelope includes R-50 walls and an R-67 roof crafted from structural insulated panels (SIPs). The SIPs enable an extremely tight envelope with 40 percent less infiltration than the Passive House standard. The result is a solution that manages occupant comfort passively for all but a few hours each year, and renders a traditional heating and cooling system, which is costly and inefficient, unnecessary. Revolutionized: occupant comfort Typical buildings condition the entire volume of air, including the area above people's heads. The Innovation Center focuses on heating and cooling people, not the space. The team adopted an ASHRAE comfort model that holistically assesses six factors that affect a person's thermal comfort: air temperature, wind speed, humidity, clothing level, activity level and the temperature of the surrounding surfaces. By addressing these factors in design and materials, thermal comfort can be achieved at expanded air temperature ranges, shifting from the standard six-degree temperature range to a much wider 13-degree Photography by Tim Griffith Photography by Raul J. Garcia

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