George Washington University’s Science and Engineering Hall (SEH) was awarded LEED Gold by the United States Green Building Council (USCBC). At the start of schematic design GW challenged Ballinger to design SEH without multiplying the University’s carbon footprint. The resulting design is an academic building that is unparalleled at GW in scope and function, as well as eco-friendly. The building’s sustainable strategies were an interdisciplinary collaboration between Ballinger’s architecture and engineering studios. Sustainable strategies include:

Power from a Co-Generation System
The project sponsored the creation of and receives its power from a new co-generation power system that will reduce the building’s carbon footprint by more than half, saving 8,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Enthalpy Wheels
Enthalpy Wheels are incorporated into all air handling units for the building. This technology recycles the once wasted energy from the exhausted air of the building in order to heat or cool incoming air, reducing energy needs. The savings are expected to pay for the system in less than three years.

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Chilled Beams
Chilled Beams, suspended from the ceiling, are utilized throughout the project and use water to cool the air more efficiently than a conventional air-conditioning system.

Green Roof
Vegetation covers more than 10,000 SF of the roof, keeping the building cool by absorbing heat from the sun while also reducing rainwater runoff. The remaining upper roof area is a light-colored, high albedo roof to further maximize heat reflectance. Rain from the roof areas drains into a 42,000-gallon cistern where it is filtered and then used to flush toilets, saving roughly 850,000 gallons of water per year.