Education & Institutions
This 1940s-residential building situated on Harvard University’s campus is renovated to inspire others by how older and conservative design can be altered to create an ultra-efficient facility with ambitious performance targets. The building, which is anticipated to be completed towards the end of 2017, will house research dealing with global climate change and sustainable building design strategies.
HouseZero will consist of the old, original structure and an extension of the existing building in the basement called "The Vault". The current conventional heating and cooling systems in the house, including a gas-powered boiler, hot water heater, steam driven radiators, forced-air ventilation and window-mounted air conditioning units will be fully replaced with the addition of thermal mass, including radiant surfaces, as well as natural ventilation inside both the existing house and The Vault. Rather than approaching the project as a hermetically-controlled box, the envelope and materials of HouseZero are designed to interact with the seasons and the exterior environment in a more natural way. Much like a layered approach to clothing, the house is meant to adjust seasonally.
All glazing systems in the house will be replaced with triple-glazed, low-E windows and skylights, which will be fully operable through WindowMaster’s automated system, NV Advance®. WindowMaster’s control system will allow the building to fully monitor the temperature, humidity and air quality through internal and external sensors. Manual overrides of the automated system are also incorporated.
The zero-energy natural ventilation strategy is attuned to seasonal and climatic variables through adaptive installations; some passive and some with algorithm-based control technologies. Ventilation is controlled via WindowMaster’s actuated windows on all floors, while a passive solar chimney contributes to critical ventilation of The Vault and the event space in the basement. Operable skylights are added to the roof plane to allow for a robust ventilation of level 2 and 3 as well as the stairwell. Furthermore, windows will let air in at select times to manage the indoor air quality during the winter. In the summer, the higher level windows will be utilized to keep the temperature in the building at the required level throughout the day.
All openings are programmed for daily night purging to help stabilize indoor air quality throughout the seasons.
Learn more through our brochure here.
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