Health and Happiness

Health + Happiness

The R.W. Kern Center balances healthy air quality while minimizing the amount of energy expended. This strategy begins with a two-part track-off system to keep dirt and particulates out of the building, which helps maintain healthy air and reduce maintenance needs. External metal grates provide the first level of dirt capture, backed up by secondary grates in each vestibule. Ventilation in the building is provided by an Energy Recovery Ventilation system, which operates independently of temperature control and is activated according to CO2 sensors or scheduled ventilation in each space. When CO2 levels in a space rise above 1000 ppm, the unit in that area is activated; otherwise, the units remain off to save energy. The College planned the café as a prepared food vendor, so no cooking takes place in the café or kitchen spaces in the building; this eliminated the need for additional ventilation at these spaces. Initial and follow-up air quality testing helped the team pinpoint and mitigate sources of air pollution through occupant education and ventilation adjustments.

Lupin flowers in meadow in front of R.W. Kern Center.
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