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New Doors Complete Energy-efficient Science Center




Amherst College, near Boston, was established in 1821. The college’s former science building was unable to accommodate today’s technologies, equipment, and overall methods for effective teaching and learning. For that reason, Amherst College needed a new, innovative building to create an open learning environment delivered through sustainable design.

The three-story, 251,000 sq. ft. facility features five separate building components including two “high-energy” laboratory wings and three “low-intensity use” pavilions. Serving as the core of the building, a daylit commons area is accessed through Ellison vestibule entrances set in a full-scale, energy-efficient glass curtainwall. Ellison Bronze provided eight pairs of extruded aluminum balanced doors for the new science center.

Ellison doors are formed or extruded from durable materials that produce a rigid, unitized structure. The entrances feature Ellison doors coated with a Sherwin-Williams Sher-Nar Amherst College Grey finish. Ellison’s PowerNow Stanley Magic-Force power operators were incorporated and connected to the building’s smoke evacuation system.

The Amherst College Science Center possesses one of the lowest energy footprints for a research building of its kind, boasting a pEUI (predicted energy use intensity) of 91 kBtu/s.f./yr. — 76 percent less than a typical laboratory building. It won a 2019 AIA COTE Top Ten Award, an award program for sustainable design excellence.


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