In 2008, when Le Moyne College was ready to undertake one of the most significant construction projects in its recent history, a 48,000-square-foot new science building addition, the campus community was enthusiastic about pushing the boundaries of sustainability. Sustainable design was a significant priority for students, staff and administration, and COST PER SQ FT$419.00FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio important tenet of Jesuit thinking. The project used a collaborative design process, including the design team, campus faculty and administration, and construction project managers.
Two major goals were respecting the character of the campus and maximizing energy efficiency. The outer perimeter of the addition respects the traditional character and orientation of the rest of campus. At the same time, the inner courtyard wall is turned to the south to significantly increase energy efficiency.
The south wall, or "energy wall," uses passive solar technologies to improve energy performance. The primary strategy is an extensive solar pre-heat wall that uses energy directly from the sun to preheat the ventilation air in the building. For a laboratory building with significant ventilation requirements, this is a very effective strategy.