Brooks School, Chace House Dormitory

North Andover, Massachusetts

The Chace House project is a prime example of detailed construction on an occupied and operational academic campus with a focus on providing creative ways to reduce environmental impact. 

The project consisted of ground-up construction of this two-story, 22-bed residence hall with two attached faculty residences at Brooks School in North Andover, Mass., ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMRob Bramhall ArchitectsCOST PER SQ FT$214.50FEATURED IN2013 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYResidence Halls/Lounges independent college-preparatory boarding and day school for grades 9 to 12. 

In addition to providing much-needed housing, Chace House was designed with a focus on sustainability. It incorporates a number of elements that reduce operating and maintenance costs, including a heating system with a natural gas-fired burner that is 97.5 percent efficient; a high-efficiency building envelope with superior insulation to prevent energy loss; individual room thermostats with an automated system that can be programmed remotely; energy- management systems with occupancy sensors; a cupola that releases warm air on hot days; solar lighting tubes in hallways that provide daylighting; low-flow water facilities (including composting toilets), reducing sewage bills; and drought-tolerant native plantings and water-efficient landscaping. 

The facility also features high-efficiency double-paned windows; a zinc roof (which lasts 80 to 100 years, requiring no maintenance); zinc and clapboard siding; and a combination of hardwood, carpet and vinyl-tile flooring. The project also made use of recycled products where possible. Extra-thick insulation and soundproof walls were built into each room to reduce noise transmission. 

Additional design considerations included the need for a variety of common spaces, as well as private, yet accessible faculty residences. Accordingly, the project includes a 600-square-foot common area big enough for all residents to gather; an outdoor seating area; a rear patio for cookouts and activities; and a number of lounge/study rooms for after-hours homework help.