Slavin Center Solar Energy
Photovoltaics is the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level. One of the primary energy efficient elements of this 8,800 square foot addition to Slavin Center is the 1,850 square foot 10 kW Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) array installed on the roof above the lobby entrance. The BIPV output is maximized by the angle and orientation of the roof. At full capacity, the BIPV system generates enough electricity power and light the entrance lobby, café seating area, upper lounge and lower lounge. The system also provides power for lighting the College’s radio and television stations.
See the architect’s rendering created during the planning phase of this project.
Slavin Center Sustainable Design Features
One of the primary energy efficient elements of the addition to Slavin Center is the 1,850 sq. ft. Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) array located on the roof about the Slavin Center lobby entrance. Photovoltaic cells capture the sun’s energy and convert it directly into electricity. The Slavin BIPV system generates electricity for the entrance lobby, lower lobby, upper and lower lounges, and the College’s radio and television station. At full output, it can produce 10kW of electricity on site. PV output is maximized by the angle and orientation of the roof.
Energy Efficient Design
Thoughtful design of the sun-filled lobby also increases energy efficiency. A six-foot roof overhang extends from the south side of the lobby. It, and the stands of deciduous trees planted on the east and west ends of the lobby, provide natural shade during the hot summer months, while allowing sunlight and heat to flood the space during the colder winter months.
Two additional energy-saving features have been integrated into the design of the lobby’s glass curtain wall to reduce the transfer of heat between the buildings’ interior and exterior. A triple solar coating decreases heat gain from the sun and maximizes visual light transmission. Additionally the air space separating the interior and exterior glass panes is filled with argon and a highly-efficient polymer and stainless steel spacer separates the interior and exterior glass panes from one another reducing heat transfer.
Engineering Design Features
Strategically placed daylight sensors measure outside light levels in the lobby to activate and deactivate light controls.
Louvers installed along the underside of the north overhang provide natural ventilation to the lobby. As warm air rises within the lobby, it becomes trapped along the ceiling. Once a set temperature is reached, the louvers open and the air and heat along the ceiling is exhausted out of the lobby. Simultaneously, cooler outside air is supplied by the mechanical system into the lobby. Eliminating the need to cool warmer air along the ceiling lowers energy demand on the heating and air conditioning system.
Sustainable Building Materials
The Slavin Center addition and renovation features extensive application of sustainable materials and construction processes. These include:
- Carpet backing of fully recyclable post-consumer content containing no PVC
- Rubber flooring made of post-consumer recycled content
- Ceiling panels of 73% recycled content
- Wood products free of urea formaldehyde
- Low VOC (volatile organic compound) quantities for paints, sealants, carpet adhesives, resilient flooring adhesives, and wood adhesives
- Recycling of 75% of construction waste
Site Design Features
Effective stormwater management is accomplished through the use of a bioretention system located on the south side of Slavin Center’s lawn. The bioretention system collects stormwater runoff from the roof of the lobby and the lawn in front of the lobby and ensures a slow, progressive seepage of water into the soil to filter pollutants and improve water quality.
(Please visit the Bioretention area on the south side of the Slavin Center Lawn for additional information)