By Cameron Chai
Arup has announced the completion and official launch of the John W. Olver Transit Center in Massachusetts, a first-of-its-kind zero net energy building in the US that will generate sufficient renewable energy to significantly reduce its total energy consumption.
The transit center will accommodate offices and community area for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments and the Franklin Regional Transit Authority. Once the Knowledge Corridor Rail Project is completed, the transportation hub will also be operated as an Amtrak station.
Key features of the transit center include 22 numbers of 405-foot geothermal wells; a 7,300-square-foot ground-mounted photovoltaic array system with a capacity of 98 kW; an on-site boiler with a capacity of 750 MBH; an active chilled beam system to provide air conditioning; a solar wall to preheat fresh air; ground source heat pumps for second-stage preheating; and an air handling unit integrating energy recovery and variable speed fans.
The transit center used a daylight modeling to detect the optimal positions of skylights, clerestory and windows. It has a lighting control system featuring dimming control, photocells and occupancy sensors. It features LED light fixtures in parking lots and low-flow water fixtures to provide 35% reduction in water consumption. The center’s estimated energy consumption per year is below 35 kBTU/sq. ft.
Julian Astbury, Project Manager at Arup, stated that the company has implemented numerous renewable generation technologies and advanced energy reduction strategies for the transportation hub. Users can lower their energy usage with the help of features like real-time energy usage monitoring integrated in the building.