Appropriate solar orientation
All office space is located on the south side of the building and supplied with ample windows to maximize access to sunlight (and views). Uses for which sunlight is less desirable are located on the virtually windowless north and west sides of the building.
High thermal mass inside the thermal envelope
Exterior walls, key interior walls, and floors are constructed of high-thermal-mass materials which are directly exposed to the interior atmosphere. Walls are thick, solid-grouted concrete masonry with a lime plaster finish and floors are polished, integrally colored concrete. All of this internal mass is isolated from the exterior climate by a continuous envelope of insulation (under the slab, on exterior of walls, and just above the roof deck). The net result of this approach is to link the internal climate to a slow-changing “thermal flywheel,” which stabilizes the interior temperature and significantly offsets peak cooling and heating energy demands. The interior lime plaster wall finish acts similarly as a “humidity flywheel”.
Extensive use of insulation
The building's living roof includes 5 inches of rigid poly-iso insulation (R-35) above the membrane; exterior walls have a minimum of 4 inches of poly-iso on the exterior side (R-28), and floor slabs have 2 inches (R-14) underneath. This effectively isolates the building's interior from the exterior thermal environment.
Energy efficient heating and cooling systems
In-floor radiant heating generated by a high-efficiency gas-fired condensing boiler provides heat for the ECC. In-floor radiant cooling is served by an evaporative cooling tower. Super-efficient water source heat pumps supplement the in-floor system as needed. The main heat pump unit incorporates a water-side economizer. A sophisticated control system utilizes set points for temperature and humidity that drift with the seasons.
Use of locally obtained materials
The building is being constructed of locally manufactured masonry, stone, and concrete, produced from locally-extracted materials. Exterior wood siding is reclaimed lumber from a decommissioned railroad trestle in the Great Salt Lake. The foundation for the building was created using materials recycled from buildings that were demolished during ECC construction.
Energy efficient window systems
Thermally-broken aluminum frames and insulated dual-pane low-E glazing with UV barrier isolate the building's interior from undesirable outdoor elements.
Extensive green living roof system
A living roof, planted with native vegetation, covers the entire main building area except the mechanical room and elevator shaft. Use of this approach significantly reduces temperature extremes at the roof surface, thereby reducing energy consumption and also extending the life of the roofing membrane. Precipitation absorption by the living roof also effectively eliminates stormwater runoff. Any excess water draining from the living roof will be collected in a 22,000-gallon rain/snow water harvesting cistern system and recirculated back to the roof's irrigation system.
Water conserving plumbing systems
Bathrooms are outfitted with dual-flush, low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and flow-controlled faucets.
Appropriate use of day-lighting
In addition to south facing glazing in occupied spaces, the building makes extensive use of tubular day-lighting devices throughout. The tubular skylights are equipped, where needed, with motorized dimming louvers controlled through a lighting control panel.
Energy efficient lighting
High efficiency fixtures and lamping, along with occupancy sensors, achieve a lighting power density of only 0.84 watts per square foot. All exterior lighting is fully shielded to prevent light pollution of the night sky.
Incorporates a photovoltaic array which is expected to produce 23,000 kWh of electricity annually and provides 60 percent of the ECC’s electricity needs.
Minimal site disturbance
The project was designed to fit among existing ponderosa pines, none of which were removed.
The landscaping around the ECC uses drought tolerant native plants and bio-swales to intercept and utilize surface runoff.
Sustainable stormwater technologies
Stormwater runoff from the site will be minimized by the living roof as described above. In addition, water-permeable pavement systems are being utilized in all parking areas and walkways to minimize runoff.
Construction waste recycling
Seventy-five percent of all construction wastes have been reused or recycled. All salvageable materials from the demolition of four existing buildings were recycled or diverted for reuse. All concrete and masonry materials from demolition activities were ground up and reused as foundation fill material.
Alternative fuel vehicles
The project incorporates an electrical vehicle charging station.
Indoor air quality
Use of paint or carpet on interior surfaces has been minimized. All paints and sealants are low VOC products. All composite wood and carpet materials are formaldehyde free. All ductwork is being sealed off during construction. Indoor carbon dioxide and humidity levels will be monitored and the information relayed to a sophisticated control system, which will correct air quality as needed.