Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Green Building at Yale

Kroon Hall is the new home for the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. It is a truly sustainable building: a showcase of the latest developments in green building technology. The most interesting part to me is the rainwater harvesting system and cleansing pond outside the building (photo to the left).

The Sustainable/Climate Neutral features include:

•Demolition and construction waste was recycled
•Geothermal benefit from the underground placement of the north side of the lowest level
•Solar heat gain in winter and natural lighting year round along the long unobstructed south-facing wall
•Rooftop solar panels facing south
•Solar hot water heaters
•Geothermal energy system
•Natural light and ventilation
•Natural light is augmented with artificial light to maintain a constant lighting level; the latter is also controlled by sensors that shut off automatically if no one is present
•Manually operable windows utilize natural air circulation
•Green construction materials including “thermally inactive” concrete and low-E glass and insulation, waterless urinals and low-impact paint
•Recycled, recyclable, sustainably harvested or manufactured nontoxic materials
•Sustainably harvested wood
•Exterior stone quarried within 500 miles of campus
•Rainwater harvesting system and cleansing pond

The pond pictured above is an integral portion of a rain water re-use system which is part of the Kroon Hall project. The system collects runoff from the building's roof and from portions of the grounds. Once collected, the water is held in a settling tank which allows the majority of the sediment to settle out. From there, the water is moved to a storage tank, combined with any excess water from the geothermal wells, and slowly recirculated through the surface treatment pond (shown above). The pond employs aquatic plants to further cleanse the water, while also providing an enjoyable and relaxing area for the whole community. Finally, after the water is filtered and disenfected, it can be used for toilet flushing in the building, and for landscape irrigation.

My album contains additional photos on exterior as well as interior of the building.

Info credit: Yale University website