McCardell Bicentennial Hall

Completed 2000

Design Philosophy

The payback from environmental enhancements to the building were considered across a 10-15 year period, rather than the more typical 5 year period. This allowed for more unique design strategies.

The building was intended, through flexible and modular design, to be just as useful to the college's future needs as its current needs. This means less future construction, less future waste, and less future environmental impact.

In addition to utilizing state-of-the-art technologies, the design minimizes maintenance and repair costs. When a surface doesn't need to be repainted or a tree fertilized, considerably less pollution is put into the environment.

Design Features

Landscape & Design
  • Views to surrounding area were enhanced by making them a focal point of the design.
  • Daylight penetrates the vast majority of spaces.
  • Location near largest residential structures encourages pedestrian campus.
  • Ample bicycle racks and bus stop encourage use of alternative transportation.
  • Plants and landscaping were chosen to minimize care and chemical application.
  • Night sky light pollution minimized through use of automatic shades on windows at dusk and directional lighting in parking area.
  • Classroom spaces and work spaces built "generically" so their uses can adapt to the school's changing needs with minimal or no reconfiguration.
Building Materials
  • Finished woodwork grown and harvested sustainably through local Vermont Family Forests program (Smart Wood certified).
  • Recycled plastic lumber used on the flat roof.
  • Slate roof provides reduced maintenance, as compared with any other roof type. Additionally, slate is a local material, reducing transportation.
  • Loading docks are made of recycled materials.
  • Insulation containing CFC's were not used in the building and HCFC's were minimized.
  • Exterior structural wall made of pre-cast concrete, built locally. Minimized transportation costs and eliminated need for temporary enclosure and heating.
  • Exterior shell stone walls provide near-zero maintenance and a long life span.
  • Six inch air/insulation space between shell and structural exterior walls provides good insulation and effective drainage. Carefully detailed air barrier provides long lasting ( designed for at least 100 years) and efficient wall structure.
  • Insulation and mortar screen made from recycled materials
  • Linoleum floors used instead of vinyl floors, and some flooring was kept as sealed concrete.
  • Used natural cork display boards.
  • Used porous paving where appropriate.
  • Most construction waste was recycled.
  • All excavated rock was crushed and re-used on site.
Energy Efficiency
  • Re-use of "contaminated" air as make-up air. This strategy allows the use of air from clean spaces like the Great Hall to be used in labs that have larger fresh air demands.
  • Glycol heat exchangers in laboratory venting reduces substantial heating and cooling losses.
  • Labs are cooled using a process cooling system rather than once-through water cooling.
  • Triple glazing in thermally broken windows, with R-value of 6-8, provide 2-3 times the insulating value of typical thermal windows.
  • Combination of effective frame and high R-level eliminates condensation tendency while eliminating standard perimeter (below window) heating in 90% of the building, which reduces capital costs, operational costs, and maximizes space.
  • Size of the building mechanical equipment was reduced by about 50% from what a run-of-the-mill design process would provide.
  • Solar-powered lights illuminate the Bicentennial Hall parking lot.
  • Roof design combines substantial insulation with continuous air/vapor system and ventilated "cold roof" for energy efficiency and durability.
Waste & Recycling
  • Recycling bins designed for easy access and aesthetics.
  • Construction waste was separated on site, monitored, and recycled.