Conceptual Design Prototype of Net Zero Energy Facility | Rockaway Township, NJ Engineering

Picatinny’s Demil and Environmental Technology Division is proposing to construct a prototype energy efficient building that will become a laboratory for innovative energy demand reduction technologies by demonstrating the holistic integration of building site selection, use of energy efficient materials, and renewable energy producing technologies. This initiative will advance the state of the art towards net-zero energy buildings. The prototype will be the first research and development (R&D) facility built to Net Zero Energy (NZE) level of efficiency with a goal to achieve maximum points toward a US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Excellence (LEED) Platinum standard. E2PM was contracted to perform a feasibility study for the NZE facility.

The prototype building designed for the EcoComplex initiative is a nominal 67,000 square foot three story building on an approximate 10.41 acre site with historical soil and groundwater contamination. The site is located adjacent to a Category One (C1) stream corridor (the Green Pond Brook) and within various wetlands and transition areas / buffers associated with these sensitive resources.

Throughout the site planning and design phase of this project, E2PM gave great consideration to Low Impact Development (LID) techniques and Best Management Practices (BMPs) that focus on achieving a sustainable and green project. The LID and BMPs employed reduce the amount of disturbance and percentages of impervious and non-native vegetated cover, while maximizing the natural hydrologic functions of the site. LEED credits within the categories of Sustainable Sites and Water Efficiency are very similar to the practices of LID and BMPs, so that meeting one set of goals goes a long way toward meeting the other sets.

E2PM performed hydrologic and hydraulic analyses of the site and surrounding watershed and developed a detailed stormwater management strategy that involved rainwater harvesting and graywater reuse measures. While being conscience of the site’s existing conditions and natural resources, E2PM designed the EcoComplex’s exterior landscape to efficiently convey, infiltrate and reuse the stormwater runoff. Some LID/BMP strategies that were designed and incorporated specifically for the EcoComplex include: small-scale, decentralized control measures, grass swales, runoff directed to natural areas, impervious pavers, no-curbed parking lot and roadway, shallow surface detention basins, underground stormwater scepter and reuse tanks, graywater system and rooftop gardens.

E2PM also provided a detail analysis of the EcoComplex proposed water demand and waste water discharge and developed a water conservation/management strategy. The design of the rainwater harvesting and graywater system would help to offset the building’s water demand. It also aids in the re-use of graywater for onsite irrigation use.

In addition to the engineering analyses and design, E2PM prepared detailed management plans for the long term maintenance of the site’s stormwater LID/BMP measures and rainwater harvesting and graywater systems.

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