|Miller Hull Partnership - LOTT Clean Water Alliance|
|Tuesday, 21 June 2011 09:30|
The LOTT Clean Water Alliance provides Class A reclaimed water and emphasizes water conservation through a strong community outreach program, in addition to providing wastewater treatment services to 85,000 people in four local communities.
The building was located to save clusters of existing oak, pine, and cedar trees that were subsequently protected during construction. As a result, the upper floors of the office feel as if they have been inserted into a lush, mature tree canopy. The board room and offices on the north side look out into a new garden with a backdrop of the mature trees. The existing trees along Thurston Avenue to the south have also been effective at partially shading the south facade and mitigating glare and reflections off the pond during the spring and summer months.
The reclaimed water pond was designed as a re-circulating, naturally filtered system. The wetland plants and bird activity speak to the system's efficacy.
The concept of celebrating water as a precious resource is one that informed almost every design decision. It informed the building's relationship to its site and adjacent projects, anchored the landscape design and public plaza, influenced the selection of native plants and irrigation design, informed the interpretive exhibits, and fostered significant water reduction strategies.
The pinnacle of this concept is the reclaimed water pond, a physical manifestation of LOTT's vision to elevate the concept of reclaimed water in the community. The water feature engages visitors as they walk over one of two bridges that span the pond in order to enter the building. Once visitors are inside, the pond continues to be a primary design element, as it is visible from both the offices and the interpretive center. The water feature also provides a pleasant auditory connection when employees take advantage of the operable windows in the adjacent offices. The pond's perimeter is surrounded by multiple interpretive exhibits that explain the pond and reclaimed water.
It was determined early by the client that LEED Platinum certification was the ultimate goal of the project. Facilities and maintenance staff were involved in the design process as various systems were being studied to make sure that the people who would ultimately be responsible for their successful operation understood why certain systems were chosen. The result of this collaborative process is a high-performance building that goes beyond conventional performance measures by being a good neighbor and engaging the local community.
The educational component of the project is an investment in a sustainable future. For every gallon of water conserved on an ongoing basis, LOTT saves $20 to $22 on future capital projects that would have been required to keep up with the demand for wastewater treatment. The educational and technology center, at a cost of approximately $2 million, will pay for itself if the demand for wastewater treatment is reduced by 100,000 gallons, which equals a long-term reduction of only 1.2 gallons per person.
The sustainable aspects of a high-performance building will certainly lower the owner’s operating and maintenance costs when compared to a conventional project. The 61% total energy savings provide significant and tangible ongoing savings, in addition to a number of more subtle cost-effective choices made during the design process. For example, when considering a floor finish for the interpretive area, polished concrete was selected, as it requires less material to install, maintain, and replace in the future. It also extremely durable and does not require waxing and labor-intensive maintenance programs.
Water Conservation and Use
The concept of celebrating water as a precious resource strongly influenced both the site and the building design strategies. The LOTT Clean Water Alliance provides Class A reclaimed water to the public for use in toilet flushing, irrigation, and water features throughout the community, and the site and building are intended to demonstrate these uses and a more sustainable future by promoting the right water for the right use. The following strategies reduced potable water use by 80% over that of a baseline building.
The site design embraces this concept by surrounding the new facility with a water feature that circulates reclaimed water. Other landscape strategies include the selection of native plants that require less water once established, the elimination of potable water for irrigation, and low-volume drip irrigation. Interpretive signage highlights these strategies throughout the site.
The building utilizes low-flow and ultra-low-flow plumbing fixtures. The public restrooms in the education center display five different types of floor-mounted residential toilets. A topical sign nearby reads, “Some say the bathroom is the most important room of the house! It is certainly the room where we use the most water.”
Methane generated from the plant’s waste treatment process is used in a cogeneration plant to generate electricity and heat. The heat is used directly in the building through a low-temperature water loop connected to water-source heat pumps, thus eliminating the need for a boiler, cooling tower, or geothermal field. The heat from the building is ejected to the same low-temperature loop and eventually to wastewater effluent. This system allowed LOTT to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 35 percent and energy use by 42 percent.
Other strategies include a dedicated outside air system with heat recovery that delivers outside air directly to the occupied spaces with a minimal amount of energy required to temper the air. A water-to-water-source heat pump is the primary source of domestic hot water for the building, and a run-around heat recovery loop in the laboratory also captures heat from the fume hood exhaust system and uses it to temper the outside makeup air.
A metering and instrumentation system was also installed to allow LOTT to track system operation relative to comfort levels and energy use. The metering system tracks all end uses separately to assist in determining specific areas of inefficiency.
The building responds to the unique site conditions in each cardinal direction. Different strategies were utilized to control solar heat gain, improve the energy performance of the building, and introduce daylight and provide views.
The west façade, which often presents the greatest challenge to solar control, was mitigated with the integration of external motorized louvers. On a typical sunny summer day, the louvers deploy at solar noon and adjust throughout the day to prevent direct sun from penetrating the envelope. Conversely, the system welcomes solar gain and daylight to passively heat the space during the wet winter months.
At the south façade, the motorized louver system was integrated with exterior sun shades to improve daylight distribution. The louvers serve as a series of small light shelves that reflect light up onto the highly reflective, stretched-fabric ceiling. The north portion of the project reaches out to connect to an existing building that was renovated to house a modern laboratory and lunchroom, and the north-facing offices are open to Olympic Mountain views. The east facade is minimally glazed and encloses core functions.
The façade and daylighting strategies implemented in the offices are further enhanced by narrow floor plates and a highly reflective stretched-fabric ceiling. By assuring that all interior spaces are less than 30 feet from exterior glazing, these floor plates, in cooperation with interior glass office partitions and the reflective ceiling, enable daylight to penetrate deep into the spaces and reduce the need for artificial lighting. The glass partitions also provide dramatic views and are one reason that 93% of the building spaces have access to views.
The daylit spaces are supplemented as needed with a lighting system that incorporates energy-efficient luminaires, automatic, continuous, daylight-based dimming systems in perimeter areas, occupancy sensor controls in private offices, conference rooms, restrooms and service areas
Task lights are also provided in each office to reduce general light levels and direct light to where it is needed the most.
Each private office has a manually operable window to allow for natural ventilation when appropriate. A majority of the hours in Olympia's climate have temperatures that are suitable for natural ventilation. However, a more automated natural ventilation system was not introduced because of the industrial nature of the site.
Location: Olympia, Washington
Building type(s): Laboratory, Commercial office, Interpretive Center
Total built area : 32,500 ft2 (3,020 m2)
Project scope: a single building
Total project cost (land excluded): $13,500,000
Urban setting , Brownfield site
Lot size: 1.14 acres
Completed July 2010
Architect: Scott Wolf, The Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle, Washington http://www.millerhull.com
Owner/developer: Michael Strub, LOTT Alliance in Olympia, Washington, http://lottcleanwater.org/
Contractor: John Korsmo Construction, Inc. in Tacoma, WA, http://www.korsmo.com/
Interior designer: Marisa Mangum, 33 Design in Seattle, Washington
Civil engineer: Doreen Gavin, AHBL, http://www.ahbl.com/
Structural engineer: Tom Hicks, AHBL, http://www.ahbl.com/
Interpretive Design: Isaac Marshall, AldrichPears Associates in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, http://www.aldrichpears.com/
Lighting designer: Mark Ramsby, LUMA in Portland, Oregon, http://www.lumald.com/
Landscape architect: Scott Murase , Murase in Portland, OR, http://www.murase.com/flash/index.html
Mechanical/Electrical engineer: Paul Schwer, PAE in Portland, Oregon, http://www.pae-engineers.com/
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 12:54|