Ashley McGraw Architects Designing "Net Zero" Energy Solution
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SYRACUSE, N.Y.--(Business Wire)-- Ashley McGraw Architects is designing a new 4,100 square foot media center addition at Liverpool Middle School which will generate as much energy each year as it uses. To accomplish this net zero-energy outcome, the team is combining new design tools and thinking with a measure of mid 20th century architectural inspiration. "Using our energy modeling software, we developed a combined passive solar heating and natural daylighting system we call the split Trombe wall," says Peter Larson, principal of Ashley McGraw`s Advanced Building Studio. "This wall system will capture and store the sun`s heat and release it over time within the media canter, which will reduce heating cost by 50 percent and lighting cost by 75 percent." Larson and his team adapted the idea for the Trombe wall from solar retention systems used in the mid 20th century, and applied it to the frequently-overcast northeast climate with the added benefit of proprietary modeling software to predict daylighting conditions. Combined with a draft-tight building skin, carefully designed insulation, and efficient mechanical and electrical systems, the media center will use only 30 percent as much energy as a typical building of the same size. A photovoltaic electricity generation system that is integrated into the design of a canopy at the bus drop off near the media center offsets the 30 percent energy use remaining. This means that the media center addition will operate as a net-zero energy building. The Liverpool project is part of a series of bold new school designs in the works at Ashley McGraw Architects. According to Larson, "We are determined to provide our clients with a smarter way to design school buildings than the off-the-shelf approach architects and engineers have offered during the last 60 years. As head of the Advanced Building Studio at Ashley McGraw Architects, Larson is working on similar net-zero energy designs including an addition to Liberty High School in Sullivan County, NY. The Liverpool project will open in 2010. "Few of my architecture and engineering colleagues design buildings with sustainable performance in mind from the start," Larson explains. "Net-zero energy buildings - which use no fossil fuels and even return energy to the grid - are affordable and readily attainable. But their designers have to put aside their checklists and plan for efficiency from the get-go." Ashley McGraw Architects Sandra March, 315-425-1811 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2009