By Jenna Dancewicz

Last night, 40 colleagues in the green building industry gathered to tour Northeastern University’s new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. Members from the design team, Payette and Arup, Northeastern facilities, and Suffolk Construction lead the way to share and discuss the many sustainable features of the soon to be LEED Gold building.

The tour started in the atrium, pictured left. The building was designed to balance the high energy consumption by the high-end lab space and the low energy consumption of the office space. The building also contains a large auditorium, study spaces and a soon to be cafe.

The tour first brought us to the penthouse mechanical space. The building uses a cascade system to transfer air. The labs were designed with modular furnishing for the researcher to adapt the space as needed. The labs contain occupancy sensors with control lighting to fluctuate depending on occupant traffic and daylight.

One of the unique features of the building was its emergency ventilation system. During a fire, one full side of the building's windows swivel open along with the front doors on the other side to allow fresh air to travel from one side to the other, minimizing smoke build up.

The auditorium within the concrete wall is pictured to the right. A 30″ concrete wall separates the auditorium from the noisy Amtrak and MBTA station abutting the building. It was quiet in there! It is furnished with FSC certified, locally sourced wood panels to enhance the acoustics of the space. The auditorium sits on top of a plenum which supplies air to the space.

The USGBC- MA would like to thank Luke Troup for organizing, and Payette, Arup, Northeastern Facilities, and Suffolk Construction for leading the tour. Also, thank you to Suffolk Construction for sponsoring the event!

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