Charles Rose Architects announces the completion of a highly innovative zero-net-energy building, which opens Friday, May 4, in a dedication ceremony with Gov. Deval Patrick, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray and other state officials. The 24,000-square-foot combined transit center and government office, built with federal stimulus funds, is the first of its type in Massachusetts and the region. Also designated as a future train depot on the Connecticut River corridor, the John W. Olver Transit Center in Greenfield is designed to generate through renewable sources all the energy that it uses—meaning its net-energy consumption over the course of a year will be zero.
“It is exciting to bring net-zero technology and design to such a large-scale public building in Massachusetts,” said Charles Rose, design principal. “What many people don’t realize is that conventional buildings are big polluters. Fortunately, Gov. Patrick, the FTA and President Obama have shown genuine leadership on this issue, and as a result the funds were there for this cutting-edge design. The president is pushing energy-saving goals for the future with his executive order requiring that all new federal buildings achieve net-zero by 2030. This building points the way.” Conventional buildings in the U.S. use 39 percent of our energy and account for roughly 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The transit center, which had a construction budget of $12.8 million at the time Gov. Patrick broke ground for the project in April 2009, came in at $10.4 million, according to Charles Rose Architects. The building will produce the energy it uses in a sustainable way: through solar and geothermal sources, and a boiler on site fueled by wood pellets, a lumber-industry byproduct. Key features:
—22 geothermal wells and 7,300-square-foot photovoltaic array
—Hub for bus and other transit services
—Government offices occupy top floor: home to the Franklin Regional Transit Authority and Franklin Regional Council of Governments
Based in Somerville, Charles Rose Architects is a national firm that specializes in educational, cultural, government and residential buildings. Projects under way include a zero-net-energy-capable federal office building at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, N.H. The 60,000-square-foot office is a commission under the “Design Excellence Program” of the U.S. General Services Administration, which selects the nation’s leading architects to do creative federal building designs.