North Residential Area

North Residential Area

Project Overview

No LEED Certification
Completed: 2006
Architect/Engineer: Architectural Resources, Cambridge
Project Manager: Andy Soles

Project Purpose

This undergraduate housing opened in the fall, 2006 and provides 864 student beds in four separate structures, totaling 325,000 sq. ft. It satisfied the demand for apartment-style student living quarters on campus. Each unit includes 4 single occupancy bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and living space.

Sustainability Features

Energy Reduction: To reduce the project's total energy use, a substantial portion of the steel framing was sourced from recycled material. In addition, sustainable design initiatives discussed below significantly reduced total energy usage for the complex, with a 20% to 25% margin below the minimum reduction specified by code.

Building Envelope: The exterior walls are outfitted with high R-Value insulation, effectively protecting against thermal transmittance. To mitigate heat loss through the windows, low-E glazing was installed, and all clear glazing has a high Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).

Indoor Environmental Air Quality: The project team chose materials to be both safe for occupant health, and environmentally friendly and energy efficient. They installed low-emitting materials to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within the building, such as low-VOC paints and water-based stains, as well as low-emitting carpets with backings that prevent mold and mildew growth. In addition to making health-conscious decisions surrounding material selection, the architects chose HVAC systems designed to maintain quality air conditions while still operating at optimal efficiency. All HVAC equipment is located in mechanical penthouses with ample room for proper maintenance. This greatly increases its average service lifespan. Ventilated air is treated and dehumidified independently of other HVAC systems. This eliminates over-cooling and reheating required by the main HVAC systems reducing necessary energy consumption. Lastly, a Building Automation System alerts occupants (via indicator lights located at lobby entrance vestibules) signaling when it is most advantageous to ventilate their apartments naturally with installed operable windows.

Waste Management: Trash sorting and recycling stations are conveniently located throughout the complex.

Alternate Transportation: Bike racks installed at building entrances encourage alternatives to motor-vehicle transport.

Heating and Cooling: For cooling, the air conditioning chiller system uses CFC-free refrigerant to reduce ozone depletion of the earth's atmosphere. Heat recovery wheels (30% more efficient than code) were used as well, bringing in outside air. Variable speed drives provide no more than the amount of heating or cooling water needed for thermal comfort, thus reducing energy waste. In addition, each apartment is equipped with two zones of temperature control, one for the living areas and a separate zone for the bedrooms. This minimizes overheating and overcooling of dissimilar spaces.

North Residential Area Exterior
North Residential Area Dorm Room Interior