Swarthmore College Environmental Framework

with Ballinger

Atelier Ten collaborated with Ballinger and OLIN to develop the Swarthmore College Environmental Framework that focuses on achieving carbon neutrality by 2035, improving stormwater management across the campus and developing a guideline for new capital projects.

The campus consists of a variety of building typologies, of various ages and program types. The lead planner and building services engineers of the project, Ballinger, surveyed the existing buildings, and gathered utility data and information on the operation and efficiencies of the steam and chilled water plants. The team holistically used this information to build a campus energy model to test a series of energy efficiency measures. Efficiency measures such as building HVAC retrofits, lighting improvements, and retro commissioning were tested on the existing building stock and central plant variations such as tri-generation and geothermal heat pumps were analyzed as alternatives.

Three incrementally challenging scenarios for improvement were developed, with the most aggressive scenario reducing carbon emissions by 40%. Additionally, this analysis led to the development of new energy standards for new construction and renovation projects.

The campus sustainable building guidelines went beyond energy efficiency and carbon neutrality. Atelier Ten with the rest of the design team helped develop a comprehensive approach to sustainability in the built environment. These guidelines are intended to aid design teams in understanding the key sustainability issues and associated targets for new construction, renovation, and interior fit-out projects. The guidelines address energy, landscape & stormwater management, water conservation, indoor environmental quality & materials, and operations & maintenance.