North Shore Community College Zero Net Energy Building

New construction: North Shore Community College Zero Net Energy Building; RDK Engineers


NSCC new LEED allied health building, Danvers, Mass. (exterior) (Click to enlarge)Project name: North Shore Community College Zero Net Energy Building

Location: Danvers, Mass.

Firm name: RDK Engineers

Project type, building type: New construction, school (college, university)

Project duration: 1.5 years

Project completion date: Oct. 28, 2011

Project budget for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection engineering only: $3 million

Engineering challenges

Challenges included identifying and intelligently integrating the MEP/FP sustainable systems so that the building could meet the requirements of a zero net energy building. U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver as well as a zero net energy rating for the building are the primary project goals. This facility is noted as being the Commonwealth’s first zero net energy (ZNE) building, meaning that the building will utilize zero net energy consumption and emit zero carbon emissions annually.


Systems integrated included: high-efficiency mechanical systems, 80 geothermal wells for heating and cooling, a roof with mounted photovoltaic panels, and a green roof.

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Sizing water pipes, ASHRAE 90.1, recovering waste heat, and more
Sizing water pipes, ASHRAE 90.1, recovering waste heat, and more
Developing lighting solutions; Designing lighting systems; Integrating fire alarm and HVAC systems
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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