University Breaks Ground for Kroon Hall
On May 3, Yale University broke ground on a new home for the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), a facility that will be a model for “green” architecture worldwide.
“It will be Yale’s most green building, a symbol of the School’s ideals and values, and a powerful expression in beautiful form of our relationship to the environment,” said F&ES Dean James Gustave Speth ’64, ’69 LL.B. “It will be an inspirational and instructional model of sustainable design.”
President Richard C. Levin, Yale trustee Edward P. Bass ’67, and Richard Kroon ’64, the environmental philanthropist and Yale College graduate for whom the building will be named, joined Speth at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Kroon Hall is slated for completion in late 2008. It will provide offices and new program space for seventy-five faculty and staff, along with classrooms, a 175-seat auditorium, and an environmental center named for donors Emily and Carl Knobloch ’51. London-based Hopkins Architects designed the facility.
Low Impact, Positive Environmental Design
Yale anticipates that Kroon Hall will attain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum rating, the highest standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council, a partnership of builders and environmentalists.
The four-story structure will be long and slender with a rounded roofline and an entrance on Prospect Street. Because the intent is to let the architecture do much of the work of heating, cooling, and lighting the building, the east-west alignment is important; it will maximize exposure to the south, increase solar heat gain in winter, and add natural lighting year-round.
The main structural elements of Kroon Hall will be concrete, adding thermal mass that will reduce energy requirements. Geothermal energy will provide steam and chilled water for heating and cooling. Photovoltaics on the roof will supply a portion of the building’s electricity requirements, and the rest will be supplied through alternative sources, such as wind.
The building will have a colonnade walkway along the southern facade to encourage the connection between interior and exterior spaces. Paved service roads will be converted into courtyards on the north and south sides of the building. Storm water runoff will be captured in holding tanks and filtered naturally for use in flush toilets, and waterless urinals will save water. For aesthetic reasons and to meet the LEED requirement for local materials, the building will prominently feature timber harvested from sustainably managed forests, including Yale-Myers Forest in northeastern Connecticut. Furniture will be made from recycled and recyclable materials with no volatile organic compounds.
(May 1, 2007)