Award-Winning Kroon Hall Goes Beyond Platinum

CENTERBROOK, Conn. -- Kroon Hall, the new home of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, has been awarded LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, garnering seven more ratings points than the requisite 52.

The 66,818-square-foot building was designed to use 81 percent less water and 58 percent less energy than a comparable baseline structure and to generate 25 percent of its electricity onsite from renewable sources. Designed by Hopkins Architects and Planners, in collaboration with Centerbrook Architects, Kroon Hall incorporates a wide range of sustainable strategies and design features. These were developed with a star team of consultants including ARUP Engineers, Nitsch Engineering, Olin Partnership landscape architects, and Atelier Ten Environmental Designers

“The faculty and students of our environment school are working in a setting that superbly embodies their aspirations,” said President Richard Levin. “We hope Kroon Hall and all of Yale’s efforts to operate a sustainable campus encourage other institutions and governments to take the steps necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard the environment.”

In addition to its operational accomplishments, Kroon has already garnered seven awards for design excellence, including one from Metropolis Magazine and an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects of New England. “We were delighted to work with Hopkins and such an eminent consultant team that enabled us to bring advanced strategies to support Yale's sustainability leadership,” said Mark Simon, who was the partner-in-charge for Centerbrook.

Kroon Hall’s materials, such as light-colored masonry and the south courtyard’s green roof, were chosen to eliminate an urban heat island. It earned all 5 LEED points for water efficiency by incorporating many innovative water-saving and water-reusing features. Storm water collected from the roof and courtyards and filtered through native aquatic plants and used for all non-potable needs such as toilets and irrigation. Water demand is further reduced by the installation of low-flow plumbing and irrigation fixtures.

The building earned 10 points for energy performance and 3 for onsite renewable energy, ratings achieved through passive design, optimized lighting, and incorporation of renewable energy sources onsite. The east-west orientation of the building takes advantage of solar gain.

Solar thermal collectors are used to heat at least 50 percent of potable water. The photovoltaic array on the roof, which is funded in part by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, provides approximately 25 percent of the building’s electricity. The all-electric building’s design protects the atmosphere by eliminating all onsite combustion. It has natural ventilation, and all equipment is Energy Star TM rated. The ground source heat pumps serve as the building heating and cooling plant and utilize only HFC refrigerants. Almost 80 percent of the timber purchased for the building is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and much is from Yale’s own nearby forests.

Kroon Hall achieved 4 out of 5 LEED points for innovation in design.