Northern Arizona University's new home for the Center for International Education is designed to pursue LEED Platinum certification through extensive use of natural airflow, an absence of traditional mechanical air units, efficient radiant heating solutions and an enhanced approach to daylighting.
Combined with a 35-kW solar panel array on the roof, project designers say the building is also on track to achieve net-zero energy use or better performance.
The 10,000-sq-ft project, built by Kinney Construction Services as part of an 18-month build-out from concept to completion, fosters a high level of professionalism and team integration that provides opportunities to innovate and overcome challenges, says Beau Dromiack, design team leader with project designer RSP Architects.
"There are teams that say they can do it, but it is hard. LEED Platinum is not an easy goal and it takes a team to do it," he says. "We took advantage in this building of using the natural air currents that are here and presented the idea of natural ventilation as the primary cooler, versus machine air. And by doing that we were able to drop our energy needs dramatically."
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