The exterior of the building echoes the Georgian aesthetic so identified with Berea’s campus while utilizing a highly insulated building envelope and double-pane, operable windows. Overhead, the standing-seam metal roof has a high reflectivity (lighter & cooler) rating, which means it heats up less in the sun and further improves thermal performance. Even the building’s orientation (on an east-west axis) helps to lower heating and cooling energy costs.
Reducing energy loss and heat gain through the envelope, or building “skin”, is a vital step toward meeting the project’s LEED Energy Goals and target EUI (energy use intensity) of 32.8. One key is insulation: using a wall system with continuous insulation from its footings to the roof eave. To achieve this, crews apply 4-inch spray foam into the exterior metal stud wall framing, then cover with 3-inch rigid insulation. This helps to minimize air infiltration from outside and reduce “thermal bridging” through the studs. Another key is the window system: made up of insulating, solar control glass and thermally-broken frames for a high R-Value. The building also includes sensors that automatically turn off the HVAC when a window is open.
According to our latest energy model, the building envelope, heating and cooling systems, and photovoltaic power generation all add up to a 63.5% improvement in efficiencies over the ASHRAE/US Department of Energy’s base average for residence halls nationwide. Building commissioning provides additional quality control to ensure that window installation, insulation and waterproofing meet our high energy performance standards.