Millbrook School is a coeducational boarding school for 250 students located in the Hudson Valley. One of the School’s missions is “stewardship of the environment.” The LEED Gold certified Math & Science Center is their first building constructed with integrated sustainable design principles. The new 25,000 s.f. structure consists of four, discipline-specific science labs, independent project areas, five math classrooms, an IT suite, faculty office suite, and a free-standing greenhouse.
Because daylight and views are integral to both energy efficiency and creating the highest quality educational environments, all lecture rooms, labs and offices receive natural lighting from at least two directions. High efficiency light fixtures are coupled with daylight harvesting sensors and dimming ballasts to automatically control energy consumption.
Energy efficiency is also achieved by utilizing a geothermal heating and cooling system. The sixteen, 500-foot closed-loop wells transfer heat energy at a percentage of the operating cost of a standard system. Further energy savings are gained by natural ventilation in the fall and spring, and by passive solar heat gain colder months.
In addition, the facility benefits from further sustainable measures such as solar hot water heating, an array of photovoltaic cells, and a display at the main entry showing how much of the building’s power has been generated from the sun. Water use is economized by collecting rainwater from the roof into an interior cistern that is visible from the main stair, and by installing flushless urinals in the restrooms. A vegetated roof will be readily visible. Sustainable and natural material choices, such as concrete flooring, slate, wool carpet, wood fiber ceilings, low VOC paints, Forest Stewardship Council certified woods, and furniture made with recycled materials, all combine to create an interior that fits the school’s character and respects the environment.