A knockout wall in the tunnel at the building’s northwest corner, originally intended for future tunnel expansion, was used to create an underground entrance to the parking lot and loading dock, explains Ben Downing, associate principal with New York-based DeSimone Consulting Engineers. Vehicles enter the tunnel and then turn into the building at the location of the knockout wall. A vehicle ramp provides access to parking in the podium.
The structure’s façade is a mix of materials and architectural elements intended to create visual interest and fit into the architectural character of the surrounding neighborhood. Façade colors reflect the historic colors and brickwork of nearby structures.
The tower is clad in 2-story high panels of precast cast stone with aggregate infill and window wall. The podium’s façade, composed of precast architectural panels, store fronts and an open parking garage, is designed and scaled to harmonize with the four and five-story building along Chapel Street.
Architectural ornamentation adorning the podium includes a cast stone frieze running several hundred feet along Chapel and State Streets. Metal ornaments screen garage openings and metal trellises extend from the landscaped terrace encouraging greenery to grow down the façade.
The project is seeking platinum designation under the LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) pilot program. The program looks at how a building relates to the surrounding community,” explains Larry Jones, associate with New York-based Atelier Ten.
Points are awarded for proximity to mass transit, schools and public spaces, measures to reduce automobile dependency, development density, mixed-use and mixed-income development and walkable streets. Green building and infrastructure credits are similar to LEED for new construction (NC).
An on-site 400 kW fuel cell power plant will satisfy about 88 percent of the building’s electricity energy, Jones says. Waste heat from the fuel cell will heat domestic hot water, the building’s heat pump water loop and the swimming pool. A Connecticut Clean Energy Fund grant is paying about half of the cost of the fuel cell.
Window glazing and insulation are twice as efficient as code mandates. Occupancy sensors, high efficiency heat pumps and energy efficient lighting make the building 60 percent more energy efficient than a comparable building, Jones says.
Advanced energy monitoring and control systems in each apartment allow tenants to track real time electricity use and setback their thermostats remotely. Electric and water submetering systems encourage conservation.
Thermostats can be tied to the water submetering system, permitting tenants to opt-in a program that sets back their thermostat if no water is used in a 24-hour period, Becker explains.
The project team may also pursue a LEED NC rating. If so, they will likely seek silver certification, Jones says.