An 8,200-sq. ft. education center at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has won the 2013 Zero Net Energy Building Award from the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).
The Bosarge Family Education Center was designed by Maclay Architects of Waitsfield, Vermont, and Scott Simon Architects of Portland, Maine. The center was built by Bensonwood of Walpole, New Hampshire. Andy Shapiro of Energy Balance was the energy consultant and Thornton Tomasetti of Portland, Maine, was the LEED consultant.
“Not only did this northernmost building achieve net zero energy in a challenging climate with the most heating degree days, it was also pre-assembled primarily off-site,” NESEA said in announcing the award. “The building’s impressive airtightness levels are a testament to the builder, Bensonwood of Walpole, New Hampshire, the design team and the process. It also brings great hope to the industry which has relied mostly on custom, site-built and intensively resourced structures in order to achieve such energy performance levels.”
In addition to delivering high performance, NESEA said the center also is a “beautifully designed, natural light-filled building that echoed rural Maine forms in a crisp, warm and contemporary way.”
The botanical gardens are located in Boothbay in Maine’s midcoast region.
The center has a 45-kW photovoltaic system
Features of note:
- Above grade walls insulated to R-40 with dense-pack cellulose in an 11 7/8-in. I-joist cavity.
- Roof cellulose insulation of R-60 in 16-in. deep I-joist cavities.
- Nanogel-filled and triple-glazed skylights.
- A Mitsubishi air-source heat pump for heating and cooling.
- A total of 237 photovoltaic panels, 135 on the roof and another 102 on the ground, with a total rated capacity of 45 kW. Estimated annual output is 47 kWh.
- High efficiency lighting.
The Zero Net Energy Building Award recognizes the “best” net-zero building in the Northeast. “By ‘best’ we mean one that offers not only efficiency but ideally also comfort, affordability, reliability, and elegance,” NESEA says. The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize.