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Kroon Hall, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Landscape Performance Benefits

Environmental

  • Saves 634,000 gallons of potable water each year by eliminating the need to use potable water for irrigation and, in concert with water-conserving plumbing fixtures, reducing the building’s potable water use by 81%.
  • Treats and retains the first 1 in of rainfall.
  • Treats water to remove 80% of total suspended solids (TSS) for all water discharged to the municipal stormwater system.

Social

  • Serves as a node for social events. Graduation, happy hour, alumni events, and other school activities are commonly scheduled for the courtyard.

At a Glance

  • Designer

    OLIN

  • Project Type

    Courtyard/Plaza
    School/University

  • Former Land Use

    Greyfield

  • Location

    195 Prospect Street
    New Haven, Connecticut 06511

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  • Climate Zone

    Humid continental

  • Size

    3 acres (128,862 sf )

  • Budget

    $33.5 million (building and site)

  • Completion Date

    2009

LEED Platinum Kroon Hall is a model for Yale’s ambitious green construction and sustainability goals. The building and two new courtyards reclaim a 3.5-acre greyfield, transforming the site of a decommissioned power plant, parking lot, and patchwork of service roads into a highly visible center for the study of environment on Yale’s Science Hill campus. An innovative rainwater harvesting system features native plants and is built over the roof of a new underground service node, providing dynamic stormwater treatment and greywater recycling.The basin activates the courtyard, connecting landscape to the academic mission in a social learning environment.

  • The site design locates the building and services to create 2 new plazas and 2 new courtyards. The south courtyard is formed by a 19,000 sf ground-level green roof.
  • The service node beneath the south courtyard centralizes and uses a single driveway for all trash, recycling and delivery traffic for the southwest corner of Science Hill.
  • The first (and dirtiest) inch of stormwater from Kroon’s roof and northern part of the site is collected and channeled to the 16,000-sf phytoremediation pond, where native wetland plants remove nitogren, phosphates and particulates.
  • A 20,000-gallon underground harvesting tank collects and stores pond overflow and additional rainwater, which is recirculated, used for irrigation, or diverted to a 940-gallon “day” tank where it is filtered and disinfected for use in toilets.
  • Water from building foundation pumps provides supplemental water for the greywater resuse system, improving reliability by 50%. This water would otherwise be discharged to the combined sewer system.
  • The landscape uses 25 varieties of plants native to Connecticut.
  • Kroon Hall also features solar panels, geothermal wells, and daylight harvesting.

Challenge

Yale required a significant building program for a small urban site and maintains LEED goals for all new campus buildings. The City of New Haven required that all stormwater be treated and mitigated on-site prior to discharge to the City system. Site slopes and the underground building service node limited the potential for infiltration with less than 1 ft of soil depth available on top of the structure.

Solution

The green roof built atop the loading docks and utilities incorporates a water feature that is both social amneity and a key part of a rainwater harvesting system. Stormwater is collected, treated, stored and recycled through an interactive pond that uses water-based phytoremediation. Water is used for landscape irrigation or sent to a tank for further treatment for use in the building.

  • Rainwater harvest systems may need to be supplemented to meet demand for greywater reuse. In this case, water discharged from building foundation pumps provides a make-up source.
  • A “first-flush” device is needed to remove trash, sediment, and other settleable solids from stormwater runoff.
  • Mats of trailing plant roots in a pond can be more effective than soil for cleaning runoff water.

Project Team

Design Architect: Hopkins Architects
Executive Architect: Centerbrook Architects & Planners, LLP
Sustainable Design: Atelier Ten
Landscape Architect: OLIN
Civil Engineer and Storm Water Management: Nitsch Engineering, Inc.
Geothermal Engineers: Haley and Aldrich
Structural, MEP, Fire Protection Engineers: ARUP
Facade Engineering/Thermal Performance: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
Architectural Lighting and Acoustical Design: ARUP, Specialty Consultants
Materials Handling: SEA Consultants, Inc.
Code Consultant: P.R Sherman, Inc.
Specification Consultant: Kalin Associates
Cost Estimator: Faithful + Gould
Construction Manager: Turner Construction Company

Role of the Landscape Architect

Led the design of an innovative, didactic and social landscape over structure.

Case Study Prepared By

Landscape Architecture Foundation
Firm Liaison: Molly O’Neill Robinson, OLIN
Firm Liaison: Daneil Mazone, OLIN
May 2010

Topics

Stormwater management, Water conservation, Water quality, Recreational & social value, Bioremediation, Bioretention, Green roof, Greywater reuse, Native Plants, Onsite energy generation, Rainwater harvesting, Wetland

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