Set into a dramatically sloping hillside at the edge of the campus, the Campus Energy Plant puts tri-generation energy efficiencies on display. The low ground form building integrates building and landscape to reduce the apparent mass of the large infrastructure installation in its prominent location.
Two solid flanking walls of grey/brown brick emerge from the treed hillside and frame a transparent wall to the street revealing the chilled water, steam, hot water, and electrical power equipment within. On the downhill side, service vehicles have access to the building from the city street. On the uphill side, the campus driveway is at the elevation of the building roof which will be developed as a green space with spectacular views of the city and distant landscape below. Neighborhood concerns for sound pollution prompted careful attention to acoustical control. In addition to sound separation and attenuation within the plant, the upper part of the street façade is constructed as a metal panel acoustical baffle which reduces equipment sound, allows airflow to the rooftop cooling towers, and partially screens the equipment from view.
The location of the Campus Energy Plant in the campus Science and Technology Corridor facing a main city street maximizes the opportunity to convey the University’s commitment to sustainability to the city and the campus. Interpretive elements will highlight the energy savings features of the building and celebrate this important infrastructure element as a positive contribution to its environment.