Life Sciences Center at Dartmouth, 11 Oct 2011

Joseph Broemel is the project manager for the new Dartmouth College Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, being dedicated in November. Joe addressed our class before we walked down the street onto the Dartmouth College campus near the medical school.

The Life Sciences Center is designed to be an LEED certified building. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Broemel told us "The building's design intent was to be the most energy efficient building of its kind (academic research lab) in the country. We are striving for LEED platinum, but should easily obtain gold."

Buildings lose heat through conduction through the envelope, and through air exchanges with the outside air, either for deliberate ventilation or leakiness. This building has elaborate envelope protection, with studs that don't connect inside and outside walls. layers of foam, triple-glazed windows.

Most building areas have 3 exchanges of air with outside air per hour, typical for LEED buildings. However, for safety the laboratory sections of the building must have 12 air exchanges with the outside air per hour. This increases energy requirements for heating. Fume hoods have sashes to control more rapidly moving air flow; each square foot of opening requires 100 cubic feet per minute to protect laboratory workers.

These heat loss problems are partially solved by the following by keeping labs and offices/classrooms on separate vent systems, so the minimum amount of building has the 12 air exchanges per hour requirement. 

An enthalpy wheel or air-air heat exchanger transfers some heat from the exiting air to incoming fresh air.

The building exhibits great carefulness with run-off water. Roof gardens and a rain garden purify water for use. The roof garden also serves to cool the building. The roof has a 6000 sq ft greenhouse. The captured rainwater system will feed the toilet water in the building as well as the RO/DI water system and the cooling tower make-up water. It is estimated to reuse approximately one million gallons per year.
The labs have super use of daylight! Lights adjust to the amount of daylight, not just turn on and off.

The 175,000 sq ft building had a direct construction cost of $93 million; including all design and other costs the total project expense amounted to $135 million. Thanks to Joe Broemel and Dartmouth College for our pre-dedication tour of the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.

Oct 11
Dartmouth College
Hanover NH by Advance Transit
Host: Joseph L. Broemel
MacKay: pp 50-54, 140-154, 155-156