Arup supports design of Northeastern University's new energy efficient complex

02 May 2017 2 min. read
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The Northeastern University in Boston's new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex was recently opened. The new building, has achieved energy savings considerably higher than required by local energy codes, and is on the way to LEED Gold status. Arup and Payette designed various innovative energy saving solutions, recycling hot/cold air as well as the natural environment to achieve energy and cost savings.

Northeastern University in Boston was founded in 1898, and today has around 25,000 students in attendance. As part of its expansion, the university is developing a new campus district – which includes the recently opened Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC). The new complex spans 234,000 square-feet, and will cater to some of the biggest research questions, from health to sustainability.

As part of the development of the new complex, stringent demands were made on the building meeting a range of sustainability metrics. The Massachusetts Stretch Energy Code, already calls for new buildings to outperform the base code by 20%. The new building, which houses laboratories and the complex environments required, achieved 33% energy-cost savings over code and 75% energy savings compared to typical laboratory performance.

Arup designs energy efficient university laboratory building

The development of the above standard energy performance was achieved by engineering and consulting firm Arup, in collaboration with Payette. The firms provided a range of solutions as part of the building’s energy performance improvements, including a cascade air system and an optimised building façade.

The former of these recycles conditioned air from the offices and atrium of the building, and transfers it into the laboratory space – creating significant energy savings on what tends to be the most energy intensive aspect of laboratory spaces. In addition, heat generated by the exhaust from the labs can be tapped as a heating source for the rest of the building during cold periods. The latter feature placed the labs and the office environments in such a way as to take maximal advantage of the natural sun/day-time environmental conditions.

Remarking on the new building, which is, according to Arup, on its way to LEED Gold status, Julian Astbury, Arup's Project Manager, says, "We are extremely pleased to be a partner in such an extraordinary project at Northeastern University. Sharing Arup’s resources and expertise in sustainability and technology with the team made the experience a true collaborative process – a work of total design."