The SEAS Vlassak Laboratory achieved Platinum certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Commercial Interiors v2009 (LEED-CI) rating system in July 2011. Part of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Vlassak Laboratory is located in the Gordon McKay Laboratory Building. The project was a 2,540 sq. ft. renovation with the goal of improving the existing space and providing an improved environment for researchers.
The renovated laboratory houses the research of the Gordon McKay Professor of Engineering, Dr. Vlassak. Together with his team of researchers, Dr. Vlassak’s research focuses on the development of experimental techniques for studying the mechanical behavior of thin films. The project now includes a main lab space, a wet lab, an optics lab, private lab spaces, student offices, and added storage space.
Adhering to the goals of sustainability, the Vlassak Laboratory was designed with the intention of meeting the highest possible levels of efficiency without compromising the quality of the research space. The Harvard University Green Building Standards and the LEED-CI rating system were important factors in every decision made throughout the project; thereby guiding all product selection, as well as MEP systems selection and programming.
Among some of the noteworthy features of the project are:
- The use of a heat recovery (enthalpy) wheel in the exhaust system which transfers both heat and humidity into the incoming air, reducing the energy needed to condition the air by up to 75%
- Digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) systems allow for time of day control, daylight harvesting, off-hours zone control, occupancy sensors, and dimming
- 46% reduction in lighting power density (watts per sq. ft.) – (Current Green Building Standards require a minimum of 25%)
For a more information a detailed case study will soon be posted on the Harvard Green Building Resource.