Integral Group provided MEP engineering and sustainable design consulting services on the new campus design for Boulder Commons in Boulder, Colorado. This developer-led project consists of two 50,000 square foot speculative office buildings, and also include amenity retail and restaurant spaces. The project was designed to achieve Zero Net Energy (ZNE) with the additional goal of proving the financial viability of ZNE for commercial buildings.
The buildings are designed with appropriate bioclimatic and passive design strategies to minimize energy use while maximizing comfort and connection to the outdoors. Some of those strategies include daylight harvesting, aggressive exterior solar shading, automated interior blinds, natural ventilation, a highly insulated and air-tight envelope, and the use of thermal mass to regulate internal temperatures. A high efficiency variable refrigerant cooling, heating and ventilation system is utilized to maximize free heat recovery for the buildings while providing a simple, flexible and low energy HVAC solution that can be easily reconfigured to serve all types of future tenants, small to large.
The large photovoltaic (PV) array is sized to offset all of the energy that the campus uses over the course of a year, in order to achieve the Zero Net Energy goal. In addition to covering the roofs with PV, this project is one of the first to achieve ZNE utilizing vertically mounted PV as part of the exterior façade of the buildings.
The campus also incorporates numerous strategies from the Well Building Standard to enhance the indoor environmental quality of each building and occupant wellness campus-wide.