Northeastern U Makes the Grade with Energy Efficiency

| October 13, 2017

Boston – Northeastern University teamed up with Eversource Energy during the construction of its Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) on Columbus Avenue in Boston — a six-story facility featuring 234,000sf of lab and classroom space — to enhance its energy efficiency and sustainability goals.

Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC)

Eversource collaborated with architecture firm Payette, engineering firm Arup, and general contractor Suffolk Construction to bring ISEC to life and add the following measures:

  • High-performance fume hoods to reduce supply fan speeds while maintaining the desired temperature and safety for students in the labs.
  • Airflow controls that reduce lab ventilation rates when labs are detected to be unoccupied.
  • A cascade air system that takes conditioned air from its offices and atrium and transfers the air to the labs to save energy and costs.
  • Exterior sun-shading aluminum fins to maximize daylight while minimizing heat gain, providing a comfort boost for students and faculty inside.

All of this energy-efficient technology will result in avoiding significant greenhouse gas emissions — the equivalent of taking 152 cars off the road or not burning 768,000 pounds of coal.

ISEC is currently tracking for LEED Gold certification and will be featured as part of the Greenbuild Conference and Expo, taking place in Boston this fall, where the U.S. Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter will be hosting a tour of the building on Nov 10.

“Northeastern’s focus on sustainability inspires its research students to tackle significant global challenges of our time. The work done at ISEC is essential to help meet this goal, and it’s much more powerful when it’s done in a green, energy-efficient space,” said Eversource vice president of energy efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian. “ISEC’s innovative design embodies the university’s growing ambition and commitment to scientific advances.”

Subrahmanian explained that the work with Northeastern University will ultimately help the city of Boston reach its climate and sustainability goals and is part of Eversource’s Green Labs Initiative — an effort to improve lab safety, performance, and energy efficiency.

Celis Brisbin from the U.S. Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter explained, “ISEC is a fantastic example of institutional environmental leadership and industry-leading design. We are inspired to think about lives that this building will intersect with — the tens of thousands of students who will pass through it each year, and how they can build on our mission.”


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Category: All, Education, Green