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An addition and renovation for Washington County Community College


An addition and renovation project for Washington County Community College creates three new classrooms, faculty offices, and program-specific spaces for the heavy equipment maintenance and operations department.



The language of the bond measure funding this project required both the creation of new program space, and increased energy efficiency. Since the bond funding was modest, we had to carefully balance our efforts to provide energy efficiency with our efforts to provide new and renovated program space.

Exhaustive research led us to realize we could create the needed new space relatively inexpensively while maintaining high standards for building thermal performance. We did this by using very recent advances in envelope design for pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMBs). PEMBs are notorious energy leakers, since their metal skin and frame conduct heat and cold so well. New techniques have overcome this thermal leaking, which we incorporate into our PEMB addition to the project. Coupled with careful attention to improving the thermal performance of the existing buildings, we were able to achieve the balance required by the bond measure. Energy efficiency and better indoor environmental quality are enhanced by a new mechanical system, new lighting, and increased daylighting.

We created a number of renderings in order to help faculty and staff understand how the building is constructed, and how the spaces relate to each other. We also analyzed the thermal performance of our envelope design using the finite element analysis program Therm. These simulations were helpful in understanding how our energy efficiency constructions would perform.

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