Twin Creeks Science and Education CenterSustainable Laboratory
Design for the National Park Service
Jim Nicolow, Lord,
Aeck & Sargent
Lord, Aeck & Sargent is designing the new Twin Creeks Science
and Education Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
(GRSM). This unique facility will dramatically improve the Park's
facilities for research, inventory and educational activities. The
Science Center will house offices for researchers, research and
laboratory space, curatorial space for specimens collected for the
All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, and educational/classroom space.
Emphasis was placed on developing a flexible research space that
will accommodate changing research activities and foster inter-project
collaboration among researchers. The project's mission statement:
"To improve protection and understanding of Park resources
by enhancing science based management. This will be accomplished
by creating a site sensitive, sustainable facility which fosters
cross-discipline intellectual exchange, facilitates cross-organizational
partnerships, enhances both basic and applied research, and encourages
educational opportunities, resulting in a model for other resource
based science facilities.
This poster will present a detailed technical example of high-performance,
sustainable laboratory design through illustration of the approach
employed and results achieved for the design of the Twin Creeks
Science and Education Center."
The facility's daylighting strategies and environmentally responsible
design features, coupled with parametric thermal modeling and building
envelope optimization resulted in a building design that will consume
30% less energy than a code compliant building, while providing
a healthy, productive research environment.
These results were achieved as a result of an intensive design
analysis, which found that certain design features would yield a
higher level of environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency
to the building than others. The findings of this analysis will
be presented with particular focus given to the daylighting analysis
as it was found to have the highest impact on the facility's overall
form. Details of the daylight harvesting design process will be
presented with an in-depth analysis of how these processes will
optimize the center's use of natural daylight and reduce the requirements
of artificial lighting.
In addition to the daylighting findings, results related to low-flow
fume hoods, storm water management, Carbon Dioxide monitors, geothermal
heating and cooling, photovoltaic power generation and high-efficiency
plumbing will be presented.
- Minimize environmental impact: In order to reduce the project's
environmental impact, the LEED Rating System was adopted
as a design guideline for the analysis and selection of sustainable
- Optimize whole building efficiency on a life-cycle cost basis:
Whole building efficiency was optimized through the use of parametric
thermal analysis of the building's performance, extensive daylighting
and solar angle studies. The National Park Service's Value Analysis
and Design Advisory Board review processes were employed as tools
for evaluating design options on a life-cycle basis.
- Range of energy and water efficiency strategies: A range of
energy and water efficiency strategies will be employed including
ground-source heat pumps, ultra-low flow plumbing fixtures and
waterless urinals, extensive daylight harvesting, high-efficiency
lighting, a low-flow fume hood, and natural ventilation.
- Evaluate on-site power generation: A roof-mounted photovoltaic
array is being designed with technical assistance from Sandia
Labs provided through FEMP grant.
- Build with green construction materials: For building materials
selection, emphasis was placed on FSC certified wood products,
materials with high recycled content, and local/regional materials.
Jim Nicolow, AIA,
LEED, is the Sustainable Design Specialist for Lord, Aeck &
Sargent Architecture in Atlanta, Georgia. As head of our LEED
accredited team of architects, Jim leads the sustainable design
initiative for all of the firm's projects and also serves as the
firm's environmental advocate. Jim is an expert in sustainable design
strategy and has worked on a wide range of projects including research
facilities for Oak Ridge National Labs, the University of Michigan,
the National Park Service and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
His hard work and dedication has led to an ever-increasing number
of projects at Lord, Aeck & Sargent for which sustainable design
is a primary goal. This includes our most recently won project,
the Southface Energy and Environmental Center, which is projected
to be certified at the LEED Platinum Level.
Jim is a sought after lecturer and contributor to environmental
publications and conferences, most recently serving as moderator
for the Greenprints 2003 Conference: Sustainable Communities by
Design. Within the last year, he also conducted LEED Rating
system discussions for the annual conference of Georgia State Facilities
Administrators, and was a co-presenter at the Labs21 2002 Annual