DesignGroup lent a modern, minimalist aesthetic to match the pragmatic goals of the advanced
energy program. Steel and concrete are used throughout, and corrugated metal siding on the exterior
contributes to the industrial appearance. These choices were sustainable and cost-effective.
orienting the Building for efficiency
Perhaps the most important thing the
designers did to minimize costs was to incorporate passive solar techniques. Said Hedge, “We
actually showed [Hocking administrators] on
the residence hall how one orientation was 11
percent more efficient than another orientation,
just if you did nothing else but turned the build-
ing 90 degrees.”
The facility has a north-south orientation,
Copyright © 2011 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
solartoday.org SOLAR TODA Y July/August 2011 47
with most of the glass on the south, entrance side
of the building and virtually none on the east and
west sides. Designers used modeling to calculate just enough window surface for daylighting
with minimal heat loss/gain and expense. Each
classroom has a south clerestory window and
view glass on the north side. The design team
chose not to use tinted glass so as to maximize
the daylighting effect with as little glass as possible. Overhangs on the south side screen the sun
in the summer while allowing it to help heat the
building in the winter. A CO2-monitoring system
prompts occupants to open operable windows,
providing natural ventilation.
On the north side of the building, earth is
mounded up to window level for thermal mass.
The steel structure doesn’t have a lot of insulating
mass, but, Hedge said, the design team deemed
that its high recycled content outweighed that
benefit. The building envelope is insulated with
continuous polystyrene over metal studs with
batt insulation, exceeding code by 50 percent.
For heating and cooling, the Energy Institute uses ground-source heat pumps — typically the most efficient conventional technology for a building of this size, according to
Hedge. Students can watch heat-exchange
fluid being distributed through clear pipes in
the ceiling. Fourteen units are installed in zones