Completed in 2016, the 388-acre Eden Hall Farm is the world’s first net-positive college campus and is the home of the Falk School of Sustainability, which generates more energy than it uses.
“The campus acts as a living lab for teaching sustainability to students,” said Jay Wratten, project manager for WSP. “To achieve that goal, the design had to not just talk the talk of sustainability, but also walk the walk.”
WSP worked on the lighting design for 23,000-square-foot dining commons now called the Esther Barazzone Center. WSP was part of a team assembled by Mithun, the architect responsible for the campus design.
“WSP’s lighting design solutions needed to be extremely surgical in their application in order to establish visual and aesthetic interest while balancing stringent energy goals, functional requirements, and budgetary constraints,” Wratten said.
The lighting design adopted a “holistic focus” on sustainability, which established low-light level targets for non-task areas, such as circulation and gathering spaces. It also relies on natural light for many of the daytime functions. At night, site lighting is mounted low to the ground and heavily shielded to minimize impact on the rural surroundings.
“It is extremely rewarding to be involved in a project that focuses not only on the completed result, but on the role that project plays in both environmental stewardship and our future sustainability,” Wratten said. “This larger vision was a constant driver behind the myriad of smaller decisions made over the course of the project and certainly shaped the final result.”
He hopes the collaboration and success of this project will inspire future projects that place sustainability at the forefront of its design.
“Being recognized by our peers for this ambitious project is an honor, and I’m hopeful that some of the features realized in this project will help inspire future designs,” Wratten said.