“We’re thrilled that this project is going ahead,” said Ethan Boxer-Macomber of Anew and Brian Curley of PDT Architects, “and we’re delighted to be partnering with Auburn Housing to provide much-needed family housing in the heart of Auburn.”
Here’s the cast-in-place concrete floor being poured at the lower level of the Freeport High School addition. Workers are leveling the freshly placed concrete and performing various finishing activities.
What might seem like a simple floor system actually has many components that work together. The yellow material being covered in concrete is the under-slab vapor retarder that keeps moisture in the soil from entering the finished slab. A layer of extruded polystyrene insulation is hidden underneath the vapor retarder. Orange radiant heat tubes, attached to a layer of welded wire mesh and embedded in the concrete, will provide a comfortable and efficient source of heat for new rooms on the building’s perimeter. Blog post by Bob Curtis.
PDT recently led green schools presentations for each of our two newest school clients, RSU 39 in Caribou and MSAD 75 in Topsham. The presentations were educational, inspirational, participatory, and the beginning of our green schools goal setting process for each of the projects.
What is a Green School?
A green school is healthy, comfortable, energy efficient, material efficient, and easy to maintain and operate. A green school is located on an environmentally responsible site, is adaptable to changing needs, is safe and secure, and is a building that teaches. The design, construction, and operations of a green school are based on long term, life cycle costs that result in minimized environmental impact, improved occupant health and productivity, and reduced long term operational costs.
How do we design a green school?… With an integrative design process.
An integrative process encourages project teams to identify shared goals early in the design process, analyze synergies between all parts of the project, and explore multiple strategies to meet project performance goals. The process embeds the value and meaning of sustainability into how we work on our projects.
What this means for our work in simple terms is that we frontload the design process. • We holistically understand the existing context. • We set shared goals with the owner prior to design. • We bring all team members to the table early in the design process. • Applying systems thinking, we set up feedback loops and other collaborative procedures to optimize all the decisions we make.
We will take the conversations from each of the green schools presentations and begin to prioritize unique sustainability goals for each project. We will carry those goals throughout each project - weighing our options, considering life cycle costs, looking at synergies between systems, and making sure both clients end up with a cost effective, healthy, and environmentally friendly building that can truly enhance productivity and make education enjoyable and rewarding.
The Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, Maine, designed by PDT Architects, opened in March. The 4-story 120,000-sf courthouse combines superior and district courts with other court functions on a steeply sloping site adjacent to the historic Kennebec County Courthouse, to which it is linked by a second-floor bridge. The design observes ideal courthouse planning principles, with separate, secure circulation for staff, detainees, and the judiciary.
The project is targeting LEED Silver certification. High efficiency zone heating and cooling is provided by chilled beams and radiant floor heating. One of the most stunning features is the natural daylight that pours into the public lobby and corridors as well as into the courtrooms and workspaces.
In addition to the building itself, a comprehensive green education program will be installed in the courthouse later this summer. Green education signage will be installed into the building's spaces to educate the occupants and visitors of the green building features of the courthouse. The signage will be installed in both the public and secure staff areas. Rack cards summarizing the sustainable features of the building will be available in the first floor public lobby and sustainable living facts will be on the digital displays throughout the building. For a preview of the signage, see below.
Design was recently completed for a new 1,250-sf hybrid operating room and adjoining control room. A hybrid OR merges the surgical capability of a large-scale OR with the imaging advantages of a catheterization lab. It allows for less invasive, safer procedures, leading to an increase in positive outcomes and faster patient recovery. The hybrid operating room will incorporate the most current integrated operating room technologies. A modular ceiling diffuser system, which removes contaminants and provides HEPA-filtered air, will be hung directly above the patient table. An X-ray imaging system that moves freely in the treatment area will provide more room around the patient table and allow easy access to other equipment. An engineered modular ceiling and wall system with stainless steel clad surfaces will support flexibility and minimize downtime to adapt the room for continually changing needs.
Evidence-based design and a sustainable design approach will support the health and safety of both the patients and the caregivers.
PDT's healthcare studio is also working on an ICU renovation, hospital imaging rooms, a surgery center master plan, an audiology center, and a neuroscience research facility that includes exam rooms, imaging and testing rooms, research offices and lab spaces.
Learn more about PDT's healthcare projects here.
PDT Architects presented a case study of the Mt. Blue Campus project at the USGBC Maine Chapter's monthly Green Eggs event. The Mt. Blue Campus is a 225,000-sf school campus located in Farmington, Maine. The project was recently submitted for LEED Certification. In addition to LEED Certification, the key sustainability strategies and successes for the school are:
- Designing a building for a unique program integrating career technical education with a traditional high school.
- Integrating multiple energy systems and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. The systems include a biomass boiler, geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floors, photovoltaic panels, solar hot water, and 2 wind turbines.
- Reusing 40% of the existing buildings on site.
- Community commitment and engagement. This campus serves not only Farmington, where it is located, but nine sending towns from the region. The campus acts as a community center, sharing spaces with the public and providing dedicated spaces for community organizations.
View the case study: Mt. Blue Case Study