Millersville University: Net Zero Welcome Center

Project Description

Millersville’s new Welcome Center is designed to achieve Net Zero, meaning that energy consumed by building occupants is less than or equal to energy created on site. The first of its kind on campus, the building demonstrates Millersville’s commitment to sustainability.

Awards

  • Award of Excellence – AIA Eastern PA, 2018

Project Details

Millersville University’s Lombardo Welcome Center is positioned in the heart of campus and houses the departments of Admissions, Housing, Marketing, and the Office of Sustainability. The building features a multi-purpose presentation room to be used for prospective students and alumni, and for local K-12 students to learn about sustainability. One of the primary challenges was achieving the client’s goal of Net Zero energy consumption. The team started with the basics: proper siting and a…

Millersville University’s Lombardo Welcome Center is positioned in the heart of campus and houses the departments of Admissions, Housing, Marketing, and the Office of Sustainability. The building features a multi-purpose presentation room to be used for prospective students and alumni, and for local K-12 students to learn about sustainability. One of the primary challenges was achieving the client’s goal of Net Zero energy consumption. The team started with the basics: proper siting and a tight building envelope. A 20-well geothermal heat pump system provides efficient heating and cooling. Inside, the performance of this system is indicated through interactive dashboards, and the energy production of the roof’s 528 solar panels is updated in real time. A solar tracker allows visitors to watch the panel adjust to achieve the optimal angle of sun exposure. These strategies make Lombardo Center approximately 60 percent more efficient than any other campus building at Millersville.

 

In keeping with Millersville’s commitment to sustainability, the design of the Lombardo Center is inspired by the natural world. Its intricate detailing evokes the experience of walking through a forest. This concept begins with the site’s aerial view, where the exterior design and landscape create circular patterns radiating from the building, like a tree’s annual growth rings. This concept is further felt through the columns at the building’s entry, individually designed as tree trunks, the fritted glass, and the perforations in the canopy that will dynamically filter light. This experience continues upon entering the building, where the light-filled lobby provides a space for informal gathering and provides a striking view though the interior toward the residential campus quad.

Award Award of Excellence – AIA Eastern PA, 2018

Project Millersville University: Net Zero Welcome Center

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