Net Zero Transit Center Uses Geothermal, Solar, Biomass
Engineering firm Arup built the $15.4 million John W. Olver Transit Center, which will be home to a bus terminal, the Franklin Regional Transit Authority and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments.
Energy saving innovations at the site include 22 geothermal wells buried 405 feet deep, a 98 kW, 7,300-square-foot ground-mounted photovoltaic array, and a 750,000 BTU-per-hour boiler fueled by wood pellets from sustainably-managed sources.
Arup, working with Charles Rose Architects, led the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering as well as lighting design for the project.
Cooling at the building is provided by an active chilled beam system – a form of convection cooler that cools air near the building’s roof, using convection currents to cool the rest of the building. For heating, the transit center features a solar wall that preheats fresh air by as much as 15 degrees during peak winter sun, Arup says.
Energy saving LED lighting has been installed in the parking lots and the entire building’s lighting system is controlled using occupancy sensors, photocells and dimming controls. Arup designed the building using daylight modeling to determine optimal placement of windows, clerestory and skylights to cut down on electric lighting.
The transit center also features low-flow water fixtures that reduce water use by 35 percent. The building’s annual energy consumption is estimated at less than 35 kBTU per square foot, Arup says.
Arup has worked on 20 zero-net energy and deep efficiency projects including the Lowell Trial Court Zero Net Energy Feasibility Study in Massachusetts, Stanford Graduate School of Business in California, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science New Education & Collections Facility in Colorado, Solar2 in New York, BedZED in the UK and World Wildlife Fund in the Netherlands.
In 2008 Sky commissioned Arup Associates to design Harlequin 1, a state of the art broadcasting HQ at its Osterley site in west London. The engineering company released a video in August last year detailing the project.
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