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David A. Croteau,
AIA, LEED AP, Principal at Flansburgh Architects
ModelingFlansburgh Architects, of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States, is a leader in sustainable school design. The firm has received over
Flansburgh Architects
Flansburgh Architects is an architectural firm specializing
in the design of academic, civic, and residential projects. Principals of the firm include David A. Croteau, AIA, LEED AP; Duncan P. McClelland, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP; and Jorge M. Cruz, AIA, LEED AP. Mr. Croteau was lead designer on the HPA Energy Lab project, and Christopher Brown, AIA, was Project Architect.
100 awards for design excellence and completed approximately 275 educational projects throughout the United States and abroad. Flansburgh’s philosophy is guided by the belief that well-designed buildings can improve the quality of people’s lives. A strong respect for context, a commitment to sustainability, an eagerness to learn, and a close, collaborative working relationship with clients are fundamental to the firm’s design approach.
The firm’s most recent achievement in environmental design is the award-winning Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) Energy Laboratory in Kamuela, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The fully sustainable, net-zero-energy building has achieved LEED Platinum certification and is the first school in the world to meet the International Living Building Institute’s ‘Living Building Challenge’.
The Energy Lab was conceived as a high school science building dedicated to the study of alternative energy. The completed building houses a learning environment that fosters the development of sustainable living concepts, where students and teachers together explore new principles of energy conservation and alternative energy technologies. The project provides 6 000 enclosed and 3 000 outdoor covered square feet of space that include small project rooms, a large research center, and laboratory spaces.
The building generates power from photovoltaic and windmill sources and consumes only 30 percent of the energy it produces. Excess electricity is net-metered back into the campus grid.
The building site posed a challenge with an 18 percent slope
and location in one of the sunniest, windiest places in the U.S. Recognizing an opportunity, the architects situated the building
at the windward edge of campus to capture the trade winds for power. The building was oriented due south to optimize solar
and photovoltaic panel performance. The facility captures, filters, and treats all of its own drinking and waste water and uses solar thermal panels to generate hot water. The structure is naturally ventilated and employs an experimental, radiant cooling system in lieu of traditional air conditioning. The Energy Lab self-regulates its internal climate with a custom designed automation system. Local materials, such as Ohia, a native Hawaiian wood, and board formed concrete, were incorporated in the construction.

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