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2013 Best Green Practices Award

03.13.13 / Mark Dolny, AIA, LEED AP

Exciting news today! The Boston Business Journal just announced its Best Green Practices Award winners, and ARC has won for its work on the Sherman Center. The 512,000 SF project, which achieved LEED Gold Certification a few weeks ago, was planned, programmed, designed and built in only four years, and was a successful collaboration between ARC, Suffolk Construction and PMA, the owner’s project manager for the UMass Building Authority. We are being honored at a breakfast on April 12th at the Seaport Hotel.

So, what’s so green about the Sherman Center, you ask? It is 25% more energy efficient than similar buildings that are not designed to be green, for one thing. ARC’s design maximizes the use of natural light while deflecting solar heat to ease the cooling burden. The team used an integrated approach to daylighting and artificial lighting, with the goal of maximizing “good light” and reducing “bad light” (like glare). As a result, the labs face North and we lifted the ceiling to allow natural light to penetrate deep into the building. Lights in the building don’t need to be turned on most of the time, which definitely reduces energy use. But that’s only part of the story.

The Sherman Center has a core of recycled steel, wood finishes harvested from sustainable forests, and carpets and other textiles woven with recycled fibers. Rainwater from the roof and condensate water from the heating and cooling systems are captured and reused by the campus power plant, conserving 750,000 gallons of water each year. It has a well-insulated building envelope, advanced heating and cooling systems, and occupancy and daylight-harvesting sensors that adjust lighting and temperature in offices, labs, conference rooms and halls.

(Photography: Peter Vanderwarker)

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