KIEEC – Aspects of Sustainability
In its charge as model of and enabler for environmentally responsible practices, the Kingman Island Environmental Education Center (KIEEC) is a tightly integrated whole of both low- and high-technology methods of promoting sustainability. As a LEED Platinum project, it shall meet the highest standards of environmentalism. Some of the key features of the building, which would be indispensable to such a goal, are are listed here.
Building orientation. East-west axial orientation diminishes the area of façade exposed to the harsh rays of early morning or late afternoon sunlight. A large expanse of operable windows to the south and north help capture the predominate southerly spring and summer breezes.
Passive heating and cooling. Properly placed and sized operable windows are just the start of an effective passive heating/cooling strategy. The double height space encourages convective airflow in both active and passive conditioning scenarios. South glazing with properly sized overhangs allows the sun’s rays to penetrate deeper into the space during the winter, giving direct solar heat gain. The shaded south court with light-colored gravel ground cover pre-cools breezes before they enter the building. Operable shutters on the exposed east façade can be oriented to either shade from or capture morning sunlight, depending on the season. After the sun has risen further into the sky by mid-morning, the shutters are oriented for views across the river.
Daylighting. North-facing roof monitors and high ceilings give an even, pleasant lighting level across the space similar to what one would find in many artists’ studios. External light shelves along the south façade and light-colored gravel ground cover at the south court help throw more light deeper into the space. When daylighting levels are insufficient, indirect lighting would automatically activate, bouncing artificial light off of the same ceiling surfaces used to disperse the clerestory lighting.
Renewable energy production. An extensive roof mounted photovoltaic array coupled with battery storage allows the best utilization of this technology. If any surplus energy should be produced, it could be returned to the grid through net metering. Evacuated solar tubes on the south façade generate hot water for the radiant floor heating system and provide year-round domestic hot water.