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Simons Center for Geometry and Physics Sustainable Buildings

The Simons Center was designed to achieve the highest levels of performance and sustainability through the implementation of innovative strategies and the use of the LEED rating system. We are currently on target to achieve LEED Gold status with an estimated 50 points.

Site strategies
The landscape surrounding the building was designed to optimize the use of vegetated area and reflective paving materials. In addition, a 4,000 gallon rainwater tank is connected to the roof drains of the building to collect water that will be used to flush toilets and irrigate plants on the site. We are on target to earn 11 out of a possible 14 points from LEED in the Sustainable Sites category.
Architectural strategies
The glass fašade on the south side was designed to maximize sun control while maintaining the views to the south. A sun-shade louver system that includes grates provides additional sun-shading and allows for the curtainwall system to be cleaned. Operable windows were provided for occupants to moderate their own natural ventilation. In addition, the floor-to-floor heights were substantially reduced during the design phase from 14ft to 12ft. The reduction in the overall volume of the building reduced the amount of energy required to heat and cool the space as well as reducing the quantity of materials to build it.
Through the use of sustainable, recycled, and locally sourced materials, we have targeted 6 out of a possible 13 points from LEED in the Materials and Resources Categories. For the improvement of the indoor air quality through the selection of low-emitting materials, providing access to daylight and views, and for providing building occupants with the capability to control the temperature and lighting, we are on target to earn 14 out of 15 points from LEED in the Indoor Environmental Quality category.
Mechanical strategies
The building uses multiple innovative systems for cooling to reduce the energy load of the building. The estimated energy use of the building is 33% less than a comparable building. In order to achieve this, active chilled beams were incorporated into the offices to provide low-humidity cooling. Chilled beams work similarly to radiators, but for the purpose of cooling, rather than heating. These units have chilled water running through them with a low volume of air that runs over them, creating a stream of cold air. They are more efficient than traditional systems because the chilled beams have no moving parts that require power or maintenance. Air-handlers utilize several heat rejection methods-ice storage, geo-thermal wells, and a water feature that functions as a cooling tower. In addition, outdoor and ventilation air were maximized. All of the systems combine to lower the total energy use of the building. These strategies combined have enabled us to apply for 9 out of a possible 17 points from LEED in the Energy and Atmosphere category.
The building is also extremely water efficient, thanks in part to the rain harvesting tank. We are on target to earn all 5 of the possible 5 points from LEED in the Water Efficiency category.

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