Housatonic River Museum | Pittsfield, MA
The Housatonic River Museum’s mission is to educate visitors on the role rivers play in people’s lives, and to inform the general public how their actions impact rivers and watersheds. Dagher Engineering and FXFOWLE provided the museum with a practical, cost-effective design for a net-zero energy, net-zero carbon museum space located adjacent to the river. Highly efficient MEP systems were integrated into the building’s envelope and structure. Photovoltaics proved an unreliable source of natural energy due to the building’s limited size and location, and alone would not achieve the client's net-zero goals. Therefore, Dagher Engineering investigated a number of green design strategies, including a roof wind-tower, radiant heating and cooling floor system, geothermal heating, LED lighting, and a rainwater catchment system. Through careful planning and the integration of architectural and engineering systems, this project demonstrates that a net-zero building can be achieved through the use of common technologies at a reasonable price.