The meeting portion of the Center (apart from the equipment shed/garage) was designed using three integrated concepts to accomplish the desired cost-effective energy efficiency:
1) use of an earth tube for fresh (but naturally and automatically conditioned) air intake,
2) use of the conventional metal roof as a solar collector, air heated just below it being circulated in the structure after having it pass through
3) the concrete floor slab, making use of it as a heat sink (storage of heat in the winter for cloudy dates).
All of these features supported the very high insulation under the floor slab, in the walls and roof (use of ICFs and SIPs), and in the windows. As construction progressed, the U.S. Department of Energy took an interest and installed sensors inside and outside the structure allowing them 24/7 access via the Internet for monitoring external weather conditions as well as internal (ambient) structural conditions.
The interior of the meeting portion provides for an entry foyer, the meeting room itself, a display area, a galley kitchen and bathroom. The Greene and Proppe architectural drawings can be viewed under Resources.
Center Site Plan
Center South Exposure Plan