Infill with skill

Infill with skill

The new Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) at Tufts University is a nifty response to a challenging brief.

When it became obvious that Tufts University, located in Medford outside Boston in the US north‑east, had outlived its science and engineering accommodation, at first conventional thinking prevailed. The two historic buildings onsite would have to be moved or demolished, the university brains trust thought.

However, the project’s integrated design team thought differently. It proposed an alternative solution: a smaller new addition that leverages and strengthens the existing buildings through adaptive reuse, thereby creating an integrated complex.

Strategic infill addition

“The new Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) is the product of a strategic infill addition … that creates space for interdisciplinary research in biology, environmental science, and neuroscience while connecting two historic buildings to create a dynamic, community-focused, high-tech hub for open communication and cross-pollination,” say the architects, Payette. 

“The resulting academic precinct addresses the institution’s desire for a critical mass of research and teaching space to support cross-departmental collaborations in an environmentally responsible manner.”  

strategic infill addition

The addition creates a space for open communication and cross pollination

Ambitious energy goals 

Rated LEED Gold (the equivalent of 5 star Green Star), the project client had ambitious energy and sustainability goals, setting aggressive performance targets for the team.  

“The project’s sustainable solutions are integral to its architectural solution, thoughtfully demonstrating the interdependence between sustainability and scientific research,” Payette says. “The SEC serves as the academic and social heart of a precinct much larger than the building itself.”  

The client established an aggressive total energy use intensity (EUI) target of under 1.12GJ/m2/Yr (excluding the vivarium), representing a 77 per cent reduction in energy over a typical laboratory building. Indoor temperatures are managed by a hydronic-based HVAC system coupled with a heat recovery system. 

ambitious energy goals

The project’s sustainable solutions are integral to its architectural solution.

Natural an option  

Offices can be naturally ventilated when outdoor conditions permit, as can the atrium, assisted by otherwise-dormant atrium smoke evacuation fans. This approach has mechanical systems performing double duty, which reduces redundancy.  

Return air from offices and non-lab spaces cascades through the atrium and is returned to the penthouse to pre-heat laboratory makeup, significantly reducing the need to temper laboratory supply air.  

An air-monitoring system continuously samples laboratory air quality and allows the SEC to operate at lower overall ventilation rates, reducing airflow by 33 per cent. 

A high-performance triple-glazed envelope minimises the loads, and allowing for the elimination of perimeter heating. 

natural an option

An air-monitoring system allows the SEC to operate at lower overall ventilation rates.

Ecolibrium – November 2022 cover

This article appears in ecolibrium’s Summer 2022 issue

Want to read more?

AIRAH MEMBERS

Click here to view our archive of issues and features.

NON-MEMBERS

Become an AIRAH member or subscribe to Ecolibrium.

Harbourside hoorah for HVAC&R

Harbourside hoorah for HVAC&R

The winners of the AIRAH Awards 2022 were announced at a gala dinner on November 24 at Luna Park in Sydney.“Looking at the winners and finalists of the 2022 AIRAH Awards, I believe the HVAC&R industry has what it takes”On a perfect spring evening, almost 200...

Streamlining electrification in support of decarbonisation

Streamlining electrification in support of decarbonisation

Our industry has increasingly focused on the electrification of building utilities coupled with
low-carbon electricity to support the global decarbonization effort. Examples include the
University of California’s system-wide ban on the use of on-site fossil fuel combustion in
new construction and major renovations, and the City of Seattle’s recently passed measure to
prohibit the use of natural gas for space heating in new construction and major replacements
of heating systems in commercial buildings, as well as for water heating in new hotels and
large apartment buildings. This column presents an approach to integrating the production
of domestic hot water with an electric heat-recovery chiller plant as a streamlined solution.
The following two case studies, involving a stand-alone building utility plant and a plant
that ties into a campus chilled water system, demonstrate the flexibility of this approach.

Rise above

Rise above

Some building owners are happy if their edifice performs adequately. For those making decisions about Quay Quarter Tower, the aspirations were considerably higher. Behold the winner of the 2022 AIRAH Award for Excellence in Innovation.Quay Quarter Tower isn’t one of...

The nouse of Elliott 

The nouse of Elliott 

Perth-based Mark Elliott, M.AIRAH, is a building services engineer for Devlin Engineering & Management, and the 2022 AIRAH Future Leader Award winner. Day-to-day responsibilities  My day-to-day duties and responsibilities revolve around project and commissioning...

Fan forum 

Fan forum 

Fantech has recently moved into a new Group HQ, close to its previous premises in Melbourne’s outer south-east. Ecolibrium chats with Leigh Howard to get the lowdown on the motivation behind the move and what went into creating the new digs. Ecolibrium: Why did...

Triple Treat

Triple Treat

Located in the heart of the CBD and overlooking the river, Brisbane Quarter is Brisbane’s first truly integrated, world-class mixed-use precinct. Consisting of three buildings, the project presented the ideal scenario for a district-style heating and cooling scheme....

Reliable Controls advertisement

Advertisement