Yale Building Wins AIA Award

Yale University’s new Sculpture Building has been named to the American Institute of Architect’s top ten green projects of 2008 list. The building, designed by architects Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, also earned a platinum LEED certificate. Both recognitions are for the building’s sustainable architecture and, in particular, its innovative energy-saving “envelope.” The envelope was designed and made by Newington, Conn.-based Schuco USA , a subsidiary of the German parent company, Schuco International.The Sculpture Building is part of a major campus-wide initiative. Yale has stated a commitment to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020–a 43 percent reduction from 2005 levels. At the same time the university also plans to expand from the current 13.5 million gross square feet by almost 15 percent, while bringing old buildings up to modern standards. The envelope of a building is a vital factor in how a building manages energy. The Sculpture Building ’s triple layer glass facade has windows that reach to the ceilings and save $25,000 a year in energy expenses, according to the Green Building Council. The system features specialized sun protection that is integrated as well. The translucent panels are filled with a special gel, called aerogel, that allows only about 20 percent of the natural light to enter the space. This reduces the heat, and also creates a glare-free environment in the interior. The high level of natural day lighting will dramatically reduce the need for artificial lighting, and the occupancy sensors automatically switch off the lighting in unoccupied areas. The southern and eastern facades have fixed external shading to decrease the summertime solar burden on the building, and the energy intensity overall is 8.3kilowatts-per-square-foot per year. Schuco USA is based in Newington, Conn. The parent company, Schuco International, is known for high efficiency photovoltaic and solar thermal systems for window and facades, employs some 5,000 workers, and partners with 12,000 companies in 77 countries around the world.