DNR Area Office, GlenwoodNew Construction | 2017
This 9,400 sf new building serves as an office and information center for visitors to the Minnewaska Lake area. The project’s sustainability goals were to achieve a net zero energy building that utilizes natural daylighting and maximizes the use of geothermal and solar potential on the site.
The project team’s decisions were informed by early energy modeling, which helped them find the optimal location and orientation to maximize solar gain while limiting glare, and revealed that triple pane windows and sealants to reduce air infiltration would be more impactful than adding more insulation. The team also coordinated between the different building systems to improve energy efficiency. They removed all structural and electrical elements from the structural insulated panel (SIP) exterior walls to maximize the thermal envelope, and coordinated the mechanical systems with the building structure to reduce the floor-to-floor height.
Concerned that shrinkage and moisture issues may affect the long-term performance of the SIP walls, the team worked closely with the contractor to ensure proper installation and sealing, with a vented air space over the SIP roof providing air movement and inhibiting moisture issues. The effort yielded a building that exceeded air infiltration expectations, and has shown energy usage running below the predicted total.
This project is the winner of the 2017 Best of SB 2030 Award, and was a finalist for the 2017 Best of B3 Design Award.