The Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing building is a model for green building and is part of Harvard Law School’s—and Harvard’s—commitment to reducing environmental impacts and creating healthy buildings. The building is expected to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) GOLD certification from the United States Green Building Council. Below are some highlights of the building's sustainability achievements (click on the image below for a PDF of the illustration).
- The high performance insulated windows are argon-filled with low-emissivity glass. They provide superior insulation in the winter to minimize heat loss and glazing minimizes solar heat gain in the summer.
- Heat recovery devices (“enthalpy wheels”) in the mechanical ventilation system recover excess heat from return air that is normally exhausted outside in the winter, and recover excess cooling from exhaust air during the summer.
- Advanced temperature control includes displacement ventilation in stepped-floor lecture halls. It reduces the energy needed for heating and cooling while controlling classroom temperature quietly and comfortably. Conditioned air is introduced via foot level vents, heats or cools people in the room, then rises to exhaust vents in the ceiling. The result is less heating/cooling energy, less fan energy to move air, fresher air to occupants, and it’s quieter than a typical ventilation system.
- Operable windows allow for natural ventilation and access to fresh air.
- Additional insulation in the wall and roof systems reduces heat loss and decreases reliance on energy consuming mechanical systems.
- Daylight sensors save energy by adjusting indoor light levels based on available exterior light.
- Occupancy sensors save energy by automatically turning off lights and adjusting temperature when rooms are empty.
- A “green” roof insulates the building and absorbs water to prevent runoff during rainstorms.
- Rainwater collected from the roof and hardscaped areas is collected in an underground cistern and later used to irrigate the planting beds.
- Dual flush toilets, waterless urinals and low-flow faucets reduce water consumption.
- All wood for millwork is Forestry Stewardship Council-certified, or sustainability harvested, and comes from within 500 miles of Cambridge, Mass.
- Low VOC-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpet and agrifiber were used.
- No CFCs were used in the building. Refrigerants with low global warming and low ozone depletion potential were used.
- Filtered drinking water dispensers are installed throughout the building to reduce plastic bottle waste.
- After occupancy, a Green Cleaning Program will be implemented, ensuring that only environmentally sustainable cleaning chemicals are used in ongoing building operations.
Last modified: December 09, 2011