Southwest Exterior Perspective - Courtesy of Miller Pollin Architecture
Miller Pollin Architecture
Stephen Stimson Associates
Net Zero Energy Consultant
Completed September 2016
Crotty Hall is the first net-zero energy building on the UMass Amherst campus, and houses the Department of Economics from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Designed by Sigrid Miller-Pollin of the Architecture Department, the 16,800 S.F. academic building contains four conference rooms, 35 graduate faculty offices, common areas, and other amenities. The primary goal of the project was to create an economics campus, and provide new opportunities to strengthen teaching and research across the department.
The building is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes. Energy to heat, cool, and power Crotty Hall comes entirely from renewable energy sources, including a geothermal heat pump system and rooftop photovoltaic array. The building’s predicted energy use intensity (EUI) is 15 kBTU/ft2 annually. At the time of its completion, Crotty Hall was one of just 20 net-zero office buildings in the United States.
Crotty Hall brings together the Economics Department to promote synergy and facilitate cooperative work amongst faculty and graduate students. The project was financed through a $10 million private gift to the Department of Economics. The building is dedicated to James Crotty, an economist at UMass, and his wife Pamela Crotty, a longtime town meeting member. Crotty Hall represents another step in UMass Amherst’s long-term expansion plan, and sets a high standard for future sustainable development.
Net-Zero Energy Diagram - Courtesy of Transsolar
Southwest aerial perspective, showing Crotty Hall (Left) and Gordon Hall (Right) - Courtesy of Larry Kelley
Located on North Pleasant Street at the southern gateway to campus, Crotty Hall aims to unite the university and Town of Amherst community. The building’s linear massing introduces a slight angle at the rear to contrast the linear nature of the site. Angled projections in the modular side elevation emphasize the upper and lower entrances.
The building and its site create direct relationships with the adjacent Gordon Hall, designed by Miller-Pollin in 2002. Gordon Hall houses the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), an independent research institute allied with the Economics Department. Together, the two buildings form an economics campus, interlaced with exterior courtyards and pedestrian pathways to promote collaboration between students and faculty.
Crotty Hall is flanked by a series of terraced rain gardens on the north side of the building, which are irrigated naturally using rainwater collected by the roof system. The gardens collect, cleanse, and infiltrate stormwater naturally onsite as it travels downhill into a lower wetland area. This stormwater management strategy provides ideal conditions for plants, while removing pollutants from surface runoff.
Site Plan - Courtesy of Miller Pollin Architecture
BUILDING ENVELOPE CONSTRUCTION
Crotty Hall features a high performance building envelope, including heavily insulated floor, wall, and roof assemblies. Upon its completion, the building underwent rigorous envelope commissioning procedures to ensure optimal thermal and moisture conditions.
Triple glazed windows further improve thermal insulation. Tinted glass on the south and west-facing sides of the building reduces glare and solar heat gain during the summer months, while providing plentiful outdoor views and natural daylighting to interior spaces.
Floors – Floors are a composite cross-laminated timber (CLT) system, comprised of 2x4 wood beams covered with three and a half inches of poured concrete. The CLT base provides structural strength and rigidity, while the concrete topping adds thermal insulation.
Roof - The building’s light colored roof was designed with a high solar reflectance index (SRI) to reflect heat and minimize urban heat island effects. A photovoltaic (PV) array is installed on the south-facing portion of the roof. Each individual panel generates approximately 375 watts annually. Together, the solar panels generate enough energy to meet the building’s total electricity demand.
Sustainable Strategies Diagram - Courtesy of Transsolar
Entry Lobby - Courtesy of Daily Hampshire Gazette
Frosted glass doors and transom windows filter indirect natural daylight into the lobby and central corridor, while providing privacy for perimeter offices. Overhead LED light fixtures masked with translucent acrylic paneling provide additional ambient lighting for interior spaces. Interior walls lined with cedar wood paneling create feelings of warmth and openness.
Main Corridor - Courtesy of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian
One major design challenge was working within the long and narrow site constraints, which drove the building’s programming and plan organization. The main corridor expands and contracts at periodic intervals to counteract the slender plan design. This creates a series of nodes which orient offices inward to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between faculty and staff. Interstitial kitchenettes and lounge spaces are interspersed throughout the corridor to further encourage social interaction.
(Left) Steel cross bracing provides lateral structural support. (Right) A series of lounge spaces are interspersed throughout corridors to promote social interaction and collaboration. Images courtesy of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.
Offices - Courtesy of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Many of the building’s internal systems are automated to reduce energy usage. The building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are controlled and monitored remotely by the Physical Plant, using the Johnson Controls Metasys™ Building Automation System (BAS).
Ceiling mounted occupancy sensors detect motion and infrared heat sources to assess activity in interior spaces. After a space has been vacated for a preprogrammed period of time, the sensors will automatically shut off all lighting until occupancy is detected again.
Additional sensors use exterior temperature and humidity conditions to regulate interior heating, cooling, and ventilation supply rates and temperatures. Together, these integrated design strategies save money and energy by adjusting the building’s systems based on occupancy levels.
Geothermal Heat Pump System - Courtesy of Daily Hampshire Gazette
GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP SYSTEM
The basement houses the building’s main HVAC system. A ground source heat pump connected with a vertical, closed-loop geothermal field produces hot and chilled water for the building’s heating and cooling needs. Water is sourced from eight underground geothermal wells, each measuring between 400-500 feet deep. At these depths, water maintains a near constant 52°F temperature year-round. The geothermal heat pump system draws water up from the earth, and adjusts its temperature accordingly to provide heating or cooling.
After conditioning in the basement, water is transported throughout the building via a copper piping system, and delivers heating and cooling to interior spaces using ceiling mounted radiant wave panels. Additional fans above help to recirculate air.
Due to its high specific heat, water maintains its temperature for longer periods of time compared to air. Thus, utilizing water as a transport medium for the building’s heating and cooling needs results in efficiency gains over traditional air-based systems.
Building Energy Diagram - Courtesy of Transsolar
AIR HANDLING UNIT
A dedicated air handling unit (AHU) supplies ventilation to all interior spaces to satisfy occupant demand for fresh air. The system intakes fresh air through the basement and delivers it to interior spaces using ceiling diffusers. A large fan housed in the roof system draws heated exhaust air up and out of the building.
Heating & Cooling Diagram - Courtesy of Transsolar
SHOWER & CHANGING FACILITIES
Bicycle racks are located at main entrances to encourage alternative modes of transportation on campus, and reduce dependency on automobiles. Dedicated shower and changing facilities in the basement are available to building faculty and staff who bike to work.
Main Conference Room - Courtesy of UMass Amherst News & Media Relations
Crotty Hall’s four conference rooms are open and flexible spaces which can double as classrooms. The main, two-story conference room is located on the first floor at the front of the building, facing North Pleasant Street. A smaller meeting room overlooks the main conference room from the second floor above. Interior glass partitions are interlaced with unique patterns and designs to create a playful feel, while integrating seamlessly with the building’s interior finishes.
THANK YOU FOR VISITING!
We hope you have enjoyed your green building tour of Crotty Hall. If you have any questions or feedback, please call Facilities & Campus Services at (413)-545-6401, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about sustainability efforts at UMass, visit us online at Sustainable UMass and Campus Planning. Come back to see us again soon!
360 VIRTUAL TOUR - COMING SOON!
Click here to take an immersive, 360 degree virtual tour of the Design Building, developed in collaboration with the W.E.B. DuBois Library Digital Media Lab. Click and drag to look around. Use the middle mouse button to zoom in and out, and click the directional markers to navigate between spaces. The tour is fully compatible with Google Cardboard and other mobile virtual reality headsets using the Google Street View app.
VIDEOS - COMING SOON!
UMass Amherst Architecture Professor Sigrid Miller Pollin Receives BSA Women in Design Award of Excellence
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 11/10/2017
New Building for Economics Department at UMass Amherst is Net-Zero Energy
American School & University - 4/20/2017
Julian Fischer Frank: Crotty Hall at UMass Should Be Model Building
Amherst Bulletin - 4/1/2017
UMass Dedicates On-Site Net-Zero Building, Even As Remote 4-MW Solar Roof Goes Live
Energy Manager Today - 3/27/2017
UMass Amherst Celebrates Economics Department's New, Net-Zero Crotty Hall
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 3/22/2017
UMass Amherst Set to Open $10 Million Economics Building
The Boston Globe - 3/22/2017
UMass Dedicates New Net-Zero Economics Department Building
Daily Hampshire Gazette - 3/22/2017
Slideshow: Crotty Hall
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian - 3/22/2017
Crotty Hall - Ribbon Cutting
Transsolar - 3/21/2017
First Net Zero Energy Building on Campus
UMass Amherst Magazine, Fall 2015 - 5/17/2016
First Net-Zero Building at UMass Will Open Next September
Emily Johnson Blog - 12/10/2015
Amherst Planning Board Approves Crotty Hall to House Political Economy Research Institute at UMass
Daily Hampshire Gazette - 2/23/2015
Crotty Hall, Amherst, MA
Gordon Hall & Crotty Hall
Political Economy Research Institute