PSU’s Engineering Building offers students - many of them future engineers - not only exceptional facilities in which to learn, but a chance to learn from the building itself. From rainwater harvesting filters in the hydrology lab to computer screens showing systems parameters and energy use in real-time, the building showcases how natural systems can be used directly for both research and building operation. Learning is facilitated by the building’s healthy, comfortable environment as well. The natural light and fresh air that streams through well-positioned, operable windows and the lab exhaust system that removes indoor pollutants are just a few examples.
• 2004 New Construction
• 45% reduction in energy use
• 44% less potable water demand over code
• 95% of construction waste diverted from landfill
• Geothermal heating and cooling system
Key strategies include: geothermal heating and cooling system saves energy and eliminates the need for a cooling tower; rainwater harvesting system collects stormwater for reuse in toilet flushing and in hydraulics lab; dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals reduce water consumption; and non-toxic sealants, adhesives, paints and coatings have little or no VOC (volatile organic compounds), which means cleaner air for building occupants.