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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
   AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2007 awards -> Tahoe Center for Environment Sciences

       NEVADA AIA DESIGN AWARDS 2007        


Entry number: B07059
Project Name: Tahoe Center for Environment Sciences
Location: 291 Country Club Dr., Incline Village NV
Building Type: Educational Facility, Green Building Project
Completion Date: August 21, 2006
Architect:  Collaborative Design Studio

Sustainable Description

Design Team:
Architect: Collaborative Design Studio
Civil Engineer: Gary Davis Group
Electrical Engineer: Integrated Design Assoc.
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company
Interior Design: Collaborative Design Studio
Laboratory Designer: RFD
Landscape Architect: Acanthus
Lighting Design: David Nelson & Associates
Photographer: Vance Fox Photography
Photographer: Jeffrey Dow Photography
Structural Engineer: John A Martin & Assoc.


Narrative/Project Description:
The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences is the premier environmental science research and classroom facility in the United States dedicated to the preservation and protection of alpine lakes and streams. This project was developed through a unique partnership between Sierra Nevada College and U.C. Davis, in collaboration with the Desert Research Institute, the University of Nevada, Reno, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the RAND Corporation and Carnegie Mellon University.

All programmed spaces and needs (identified in the Detailed Project Program) were incorporated into a tight building shell with height and footprint restrictions with the greatest level of efficiency possible and with similar activity groupings one ach of the 3 floors that have similar plate shapes and areas, while producing a productive and pleasing interior environment with a daylit atrium and an aesthetic, exterior character befitting the wooded campus setting. All of this was accomplished while adhering to strict local agency regulation issues of color, glare, and light & sound pollution which were critical to a successful project.

Laboratories generally consume a relatively large amount of energy, but the mechanical and electrical systems were creatively designed to significantly reduce energy consumption throughout all spaces of the building while providing necessary laboratory safety. Natural systems of daylighting, shading, ventilating and passive solar were also integrated with mechanical and electrical systems for a comprehensive design approach. The building’s solar shading and daylighting were simulated by a modeling and a heliodon study at the PG&E Energy Center in San Francisco. The Laboratories are sophisticated in their design equipment and infrastructure to allow flexibility over time. The building’s projected energy savings is 63% less than a conventional building meeting ASHRAE 90.1 standards. The USGBC awarded this project a LEED Platinum certification.

The Tahoe Center is conceived to be an interactive laboratory/classroom facility to educate students and the community, and to raise awareness of environmental concerns. The facility reaches these goals through a site design that respects the local context, sustainable systems design which minimize consumption of resources, and a building design that celebrates the life and vibrancy of the natural environment. Located on the Sierra Nevada College campus in Incline Village, Nevada, the Tahoe Center is a model for future campus development as well as for both regional and national “green design”.


Sustainability Description:
Environmentally Sustainable Design and Energy Conservation Features include:

  • Displacement ventilation system throughout provides 100% ventilation air, and CO2 sensors assure high indoor air quality
  • Chilled beam, radiant panel and in-floor radiant heating and cooling
  • Underground chilled water tanks eliminate the need for any condenser based cooling.
  • Cogeneration system with heat recovery generates power and hot water for the building and snowmelt systems.
  • Solar thermal panels pre-heat domestic hot water
  • Photovoltaic panels generate over 10% of the building’s power consumption.
  • Reclaimed water system collects rainwater from all roof surfaces, purifies, and distributes water throughout the building for flushing all toilets.
  • Waterless urinals and other highly efficient plumbing fixtures significantly reduce water consumption.
  • Natural daylighting at building perimeter with light shelves reflect light deep into spaces, with lighting also provided by central sky lighted atrium.
  • Daylight harvesting system controls all interior lighting to minimize energy consumption when natural daylight in available.
  • Compressed natural gas refueling station provides refueling capability to the universities’ fleet of natural gas vehicles.
  • Recycled and locally harvested materials have been utilized wherever possible to minimize the embodied energy used in each product.
  • Indoor air quality has been significantly increased fue to the elimination of any formaldehyde containing products and the use of low VOC containing adhesives and coatings.
  • Variable air volume fume hoods significantly reduce the fan energy typically consumed by laboratory buildings.
  • Energy that would typically be lost in the building exhaust is captured and used to temper the fresh air brought in by the air handlers.
  • A central atrium allows natural light to penetrate deep within the building plan.
  • South facing glazing is maximized and light shelves are added to increase light penetration.

  The building design includes materials with high levels of recycled content as well as materials that come from local sources. For example, the concrete in the structural frame substituted 25% of the cement with fly ash, a by-product of coal combustion in power plants. Trees harvested from the forested building site were milled in place, saving the transportation energy expenses. The milled wood was then used for finish work, and unmilled wood was shredded and used for erosion control and ground cover.


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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:02 PST