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Sustainable Institutional Buildings: The New Landscape Architecture Facility T.P. Cathcart P.O. Melby Biological Engineering Landscape Architecture Mississippi State University In 2002, the new Landscape Architecture facility was completed.
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T.P. Cathcart P.O. Melby
Biological Engineering Landscape Architecture
Mississippi State University
Five years in planning, it is the first MSU campus building designed specifically to minimize operational energy use.
Reason 1: $$$
its utility bill. That’s over $8M per year.
Reason 2: Homeland Security
Sustainable buildings are less dependent upon centralized sources of energy. A public building that has minimal HVAC and artificial lighting needs is more likely to maintain function if centralized energy is disrupted.
Reason 3: Sustainability
Sustainability – Meeting our needs in ways that allow our children and grandchildren to meet their needs.
9-12 billion by
There are enough of us now to adversely effect the natural systems upon which we depend.
What is the carrying capacity of earth?
like a giraffe growing up in a garage,
we will eventually have to consider our limits and our options.
Pete Melby & I have been working together for years.
Eventually we wrote a book.
And the building came out of the book!
Answer: No – a lot of sustainable design is just common sense (which we abandoned over the past 50 years or so).
There’s no “magic technology” that makes it work. It’s a combination of many small elements, each of which contribute.
Before air conditioners and central heat, buildings used passive cooling and heating, and it worked!
Passive means that it does not require additional energy.
and there were many techniques that were used.
Use overhangs that prevent solar radiation from striking the sides of the buildings.
But we know that the elevation of the winter sun at noon is a lot lower than the summer sun at noon ….
give the heat back at night.
Make the walls thick with stone or brick. The interior temperature will change very little.
That’s why caves were such popular dwellings for ancient peoples.
Use high ceilings to keep rooms cool (a good technique for the south, where cooling exceeds heating energy use).
An historical example of use of natural ventilation is between West Point & Columbus: Waverly Mansion
They were once unstoppable heat leaks. Multi-paned windows using an assortment of coatings and inert gases now have high insulation values.
The current generation of windows use a variety of strategies to reduce heat loss and gain
Shown here is foundation insulation.
In the South, they can reach 160 F !
Heat gain through the roof can be more than half of your cooling load.
The best and most recently introduced are both reflective and have a high capacity to radiate the heat back into space.
The system used in the LA Facility added $350k to the price of the $4M building.
But payback time is ~10 years (much less than expected life).
Air has a relatively low specific heat and a very low density. Not a great heat source or sink.
The earth has a fairly high specific heat and a very large density. It is an excellent heat source and sink.
This system was paid for by the Tennessee Valley Authority (part of their green power project).
Payback time is ~20 years (about the same as expected life).
It’s a product of many technologies, some old and some new. It’s also a product of human thought. That’s probably the most important ingredient.
We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world….
We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world
will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits.
Wendell Berry (“Recollected Essays”)