Student center

8 interesting facts about the new Emory Student Center

Considered one of the most energy-efficient buildings on campus, the student center uses a range of advanced technologies, from the university’s first foray into geothermal technology to chilled beams and solar shades.

In pursuit of energy efficiency, the facility reflects a wealth of new ideas, including a system of 400-foot-deep geothermal wells dug into the nearby McDonough field that provide some 700 tons of heating/cooling capacity. To look at the playground today, you would never guess what lies beneath.

Additionally, the facility uses chilled beams and a custom air-moving system – located in the floors, not the towering ceilings – to help control the climate. Large-scale ceiling fans – imagine an airplane propeller – also maintain comfort, low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets help conserve water, and an outdoor plaza doubles as a “ green roof,” reducing stormwater runoff.

Even the high-performance glass that surrounds the building is at work, reducing solar gain and glare. Sensors in these windows help “harvest daylight” — if sunlight is strong enough to illuminate interior spaces, the LED fixtures automatically turn off, says Al Herzog, senior program manager at campus services. .

A similar feature is at work in the kitchen ventilation system; when food servers aren’t in use, hood ventilation slows down, Herzog adds. In the interests of sustainability, meal trays have been eliminated to reduce food waste, energy and water consumption; all coffees and teas are fair trade certified; and the ground beef on the menu is grass-fed.

A solar water heater — located in the rectangular panels on the roof of the north pavilion — also supplies around 40% of the building’s hot water needs.

Computer modeling estimates the building will have an energy use index (EUI) of about 59, which will rank it among the most energy-efficient student centers in the country, according to Herzog.

“The Emory Student Center is a physical manifestation of Emory’s moral commitment to wisely steward its resources and the resources of the planet.”

— Ciannat Howett, Director of Sustainability Initiatives

“It showcases exciting sustainability technology that we hope will inspire Emory students in their personal and professional lives to become the next generation of sustainability leaders in whatever career path they pursue. “, says Howett.