Duke University’s Environment Hall, housing the Nicholas School of the Environment, has recently been awarded LEED Platinum Certification. As the new front door to the School, this 70,000 GSF building employs low energy sustainable building systems aimed at reducing its environmental impact and also serves as a teaching tool for the School and its community. The building’s systems include solar photovoltaic power generation, solar hot water, chilled beam cooling system, daylight harvesting, high-performance glazing, water-efficient fixtures, green roofs and rainwater harvesting.
The building includes faculty and departmental offices, advanced computing laboratories and classrooms, a reading room and environmental art gallery all wrapped in a high-performance exterior envelope specifically tuned to the site. A thermal corridor along the south utilizes a relaxed temperature strategy to further insulate the program and reduce overall energy consumption. Transient spaces such as lobbies and primary circulation routes are organized into this network of thermal corridors along the south façade of the building. Temperatures inside the thermal corridors are allowed to float + /- 5 degrees, thereby buffering classrooms and open office areas from the shock of direct solar gain and harsh glare.
As one of the world’s premier schools for the study of environmental science and policy, the Nicholas School of the Environment attempts to understand the Earth, its inhabitants and the environment as an integrated whole by addressing the critical issues of climate change, energy, water quality, ecosystem management and conservation and human and environmental health.
The following is a snapshot of efficiencies the project has achieved:
reduction in energy use.
reduction in water usage from code.
of the water reduction is from harvesting rainwater.
of the spaces will be daylit and have access to views.
of the building materials are from recycled content.
Environmental Hall to be the Greenest Facility at Duke
Groundbreaking at Duke University
From Design to Groundbreaking
Energy Savings: Duke University
Topping Out at Duke University
Construction of a LEED Platinum Building: Duke Univ., Environment Hall
Construction Update: Duke University
Inspiration for Interior Finishes