LEED BD+C: New Construction v2009
UMass Research and Education Greenhouse
LEED Gold 2013
The process of energy modeling was a particular challenge because it is a hybrid building that combines a high-tech research greenhouse with state-of-the art laboratories.
The University of Massachusetts College of Natural Sciences (CNS) Greenhouse is a new plant research facility for the University of Massachusetts-Amherst College of Natural Sciences and the Department of Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences. Its design blends the historical, agrarian character of the University’s roots with the spirit of cutting-edge research. The project is composed of two major parts: “greenhouses” and “laboratory.”
The greenhouses are efficient research machines. Two houses of high-tech glass and steel enclose a series of research compartments, each capable of maintaining a separate experimental environment. Sophisticated, automated controls modulate sunlight, artificial lighting, temperature, humidity, irrigation, and fertilization, adapting the interior environment in response to the sun, wind, and weather. The houses maximize plant growth while providing an open, flexible environment for botany research and instruction.
The laboratory harmonizes with the greenhouses. Its exterior form and interior environment share the same size, shape, and structure, providing a consistent look and feel. The laboratory is a reinterpretation of a New England barn – a simple, zinc-clad, gable-ended building that is both modern and at home in the landscape of western Massachusetts. Its interior has a raw, open aesthetic in keeping with the agrarian style. It is a sophisticated research facility, featuring two research labs, a wet/ dry classroom for botany instruction, and a core facility for seed germination.
The core LEED aspects of this project include maximizing energy efficiency while achieving the high-level technical needs of a research facility. Additionally, the project utilizes innovative and cost effective strategies for mitigating storm water runoff.