Miller Hull Partnership - LOTT Clean Water Alliance Print
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 09:30

From the same architectsThe Miller Hull Partnership - Northwest Maritime Centerin Port Townsend, WashingtonThe Miller Hull Partnership - Northwest Maritime Centerin Port Townsend, Washington
Designed by the Miller Hull Partnership, the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, recently achieved LEED Gold Certification. As a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and pr...
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LOTT.NicLehoux.047Lab entry of the building
Photograph: Nic Lehoux



While most sewage treatment plants are invisible to their communities and separated by a chain link fence, the LOTT Clean Water Alliance Regional Service Center is a visible and active participant in the public life of Washington's capital city.

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 new facility, located on the site of its existing Budd Inlet Treatment Plant, brings all management and staff together in one location. The facility includes three major elements, with a renovated 7,700 ft2 water quality laboratory, a new 21,300 ft2 office and a 3,500 ft2 education and technology center.

Located only a few blocks from the State Capitol on a brownfield site in a predominantly industrial context, the new Regional Services Center maximizes myriad site resources.

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FALLINGWATER

Edited by Lynda Waggoner

 

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.


LOTT_MillerHull_sitecontextThe west façade, including the water feature and an office entry bridge
Photographs: Nic Lehoux Illustration: Miller Hull

 

LOTT_MillerHull_elevation-sketchThis is a hand-drawn concept sketch of the building
Illustration: Miller Hull


 
The landscape design also encourages wildlife habitat through the removal of invasive species and the introduction of a variety of native species. Two large green roofs were also planted with native plants to reduce storm water runoff, improve the thermal resistance of the envelope, and mitigate the heat island effect.

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.
LOTT_MillerHull_siteplansPlans of the four floors of the building
Illustration: Miller Hull

Environmental Aspects

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.

LOTT.NicLehoux.001View north from Thurston Avenue to the office entry, showing existing oak trees that were protected during construction.
Photograph: Nic Lehoux

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.
LOTT_MillerHull_sitediagramssite and its neighbors, along with the flow of treated wastewater and other building features.
Illustration: Miller Hull

LOTT.NicLehoux.019.MThe main entrance to the offices and the education center requires visitors to cross the water feature on a foot bridge.
Photograph: Nic Lehoux
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.

LOTT.NicLehoux.014The west façade, including the water feature and an office entry bridge.
Photograph: Nic Lehoux

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.

LOTT_NicLehoux.034shows the interpretive area at night, looking across the pond
Photograph: Nic Lehoux

 

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.”

Energy

LOTT.NicLehoux.051Photograph: Nic Lehoux 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.

Bioclimatic Design

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.

LOTT_.MillerHull_daylighting-sketchPlan for daylighting.
Illustration: Miller Hull
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.

LOTT.NicLehoux.MillerHull.daylightingAutomatic louvers improve light distribution and reduce glare.
Photograph: Nic Lehoux Illustrations: Miller Hull
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.

Indoor Environment

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.

LOTT.NicLehoux.058Photograph: Nic Lehoux

 

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.

LOTT.NicLehoux.060The conference room features reclaimed wood office dividers and lots of daylight
Photograph: Nic Lehoux

 

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.


The project is recipient of the 2011 AIA COTE Awards, and the article is an abbreviated version of the one posted on AIA’s web site.

Executive offices open onto an intensive green roof and south-facing terrace. Photograph: Nic Lehoux Executive offices open onto an intensive green roof and south-facing terrace
Photograph: Nic Lehoux



Project details:

LOTT_MillerHull_elevationsThe southwest corner, the south elevation, and the west elevation. Photograph: Nic Lehoux Illustrations: Miller Hull Location: Olympia, Washington

Building type(s): Laboratory, Commercial office, Interpretive Center

New construction

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

Project credits:

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/


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 12:54