Center for Urban Waters building cutaway: saving energy

LEED credit symbol: energy and atmosphereSaving energy: efficient by design

The Center for Urban Waters is 34% more efficient than a standard building. Among design elements that contribute to energy efficiency:

  • Geothermal wells under the parking lot and esplanade do much of the heating and cooling.
  • Radiant heating and cooling is used in offices.
  • Energy-efficient mechanical systems reduce the energy used in offices.
  • Natural ventilation cools the office areas, rather than air conditioning.
  • The building’s shape and orientation to the sun enhance energy efficiency.
saving energy diagram
1: green roof, 2: summer sun, 3: winter sun, 4: water storage tanks, 5: irrigation from storage tanks, 6: rain garden, 7: natural ventilation, 8: ground source heating and cooling, 9: radiant floor, 10: excess clean water from labs, 11: flush toilets from storage tanks. Graphic courtesy of Perkins+Will.
Green roofs absorb and filter rainwater, aid in the heating and cooling of the building, and help lower urban air temperatures.
water cisterns
Water from the green roof and water rejected from the laboratory's pure water system is collected in these two 36,000 gallon tanks and is used to flush toilets and irrigate the plants.
work area with natural lighting and ventilation
Office areas are energy efficient; natural ventilation provides a healthy work environment.