The George D. Aiken Center at the University of Vermont : A Whole Building Design Guide Case Study

Nov 01, 2013

This entry contains a link to a detailed case study published by the Whole Building Design Guide. It is a 2013 Beyond Green Award recipient.

The Aiken Center on the University of Vermont campus is a model energy efficient renovation. A national design competition kicked off the project, seeking a design that embodied the mission of the school of environment and natural resources. The expressed goals were to exemplify responsible use of natural resources, develop an interactive living building, and inspire future generations of learners.

The building received a full face-lift, including the addition of a south-facing double height solarium, and a transformation also took place under the surface. Out of view, the building envelope was significantly improved with added insulation and moisture control. On the surface, large windows allow daylight into the previously dark building, offering naturally lit classrooms, offices, and gathering areas. Adjacent to the main south entry, water flows through the EcoMachine® as it cleans 100% of the building's wastewater beside plants thriving in the daylight of the solarium. Local boulders, including ones discovered on the project construction site, anchor the building to the Earth and offer casual locations for students and faculty to pause. FSC certified wood paneling, sourced from UVM's sustainably managed research forest, ribs the interior walls. These natural elements physically link the building and its inhabitants to the School of Natural Resources' educational mission.

Located next to a campus green and on the main pedestrian circulation spine through the UVM campus, it is a model for a sustainable future and a "green beacon" for the University, the Burlington community, and its visitors.

Whole Building Design Guide, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Whole Building Design Guide technical committees

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