Kohler Environmental Center Achieves LEED Platinum Certification

The Kohler Environmental Center, which is the first teaching, research and residential environmental center in U.S. secondary education, has recently been certified LEED Platinum by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Atelier Ten helped shape the Kohler Environmental Center into a model of sustainable and energy efficient design that demonstrates the school’s mission to promote environmental understanding, land stewardship, and social responsibility.

Atelier Ten collaborated with Robert A.M. Stern Architects to conduct analysis and engage in discussions regarding opportunities for natural ventilation, daylighting, lighting performance, and assembly optimization. The design is fully day-lit and takes advantage of passive design strategies.

The building includes numerous energy efficiency measures including high-performance wall assemblies that approach Passive House standards, a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system, an earth duct to pre-temper outdoor air, a solar hot water system, and a waste oil boiler using cooking oil or biofuel to heat the greenhouse.

Atelier Ten incorporated an energy efficient lighting design that was a key strategy to reduce base loads in order for the environmental center to achieve net zero site energy. The lighting center uses the most advanced sources and controls to keep energy use to a minimum. Setting aggressive lighting energy use targets early on allowed the Atelier Ten Lighting Designers to collaborate with the architect and keep the energy story in mind while making aesthetic decisions. This coupled with intuitive daylight and occupancy controls drove the Kilowatt hours down. Knowing that every watt would have to be generated on site was a big incentive to be efficient in the design without sacrificing the illuminance needed or the feel that would support the architectural goals.

Atelier Ten New York provided Environmental Design, Energy Analysis, and LEED Administration. The team included Paul Stoller, Emilie Hagen, and Bret Mantyk. Atelier Ten New Haven provided Lighting Design services. The team included Chad Groshart and Gus Sanchez.