LEED PLATINUM CERTIFIED AND PASSIVHAUS ( certification pending) CLASSROOM BUILDING
The Nature Preserve where this building is located is a contiguous natural area, 55 acres in size, deeded to the University in the 1950's for educational and recreational use. The site has hiking trails through old growth hard woods frequented by the university students as well as the public.
We were charged with designing a facility to serve eight different departments for the nature portions of their teaching and study at a regional University. The University desired that this building have minimum environmental impact and be an overall energy producer rather than consumer in spite of the fact it is in the cold climate of Northern Minnesota. Keeping these goals in mind the building has been designed for PassivHaus and LEED Platinum certification.
We located the building on the hilltop above the pond at the entry to the reserve where there was an existing volleyball court thus avoiding the disturbance of any undeveloped land. Great care was taken to achieve ADA and fire emergency access, turning usual problems into classical processional access.
Construction of the building was completed in June, 2010. Balancing of systems and collection of performance data is ongoing.