Text description provided by the architects. Currently seeking LEED Gold Certification, the newly completed Revolution Park Sports Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina is a key element to the Revolution Park neighborhood. The resulting design incorporates modern lines with respect to its historic southern neighborhood, therefore the holistic design approach needed to not just integrate sustainable design concepts but also provide an environment that both encourages social interaction and is welcoming to its surrounding community. Revolution Park Sports Academy is a significant first environmental project for Mecklenburg County.
Follow the break for details about this project, photographs, and drawings.
Neighboring Concepts provided us with their detailed design/sustainable approach for this future LEED Gold Certified project:
The building is optimally sited to serve a well-populated area without adversely impacting the surrounding natural lands and undeveloped areas. It is constructed on previously developed land, away from wetlands and other ecologically-sensitive areas. To help with flood-prevention along Irwin Creek, a detention basin was created to reduce and store runoff. Additionally, an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan was implemented during construction to prevent contamination of the creek and storm water system. Construction Waste Management for RPSA resulted in 1.3 tons of material – approximately 96% of the waste – being diverted from landfills.
The site is also critical to accessibility; it’s located within 1/2 mile of a local bus route and the partially-covered bike parking facility contains showers and changing rooms for cyclists. For those desiring to drive, five percent of the total parking spaces are designated for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. Another five percent of the total parking spaces are designated for car/vanpool vehicles. Public transit, cycling, carpooling, and hybrid vehicles help to reduce global emissions and help to improve local air quality
The exterior of the built facility continues to underscore the commitment to sustainability and energy- efficiency.
Fifty-four percent of the total material value of the building was extracted and processed/manufactured within 500 miles of the location. All of the concrete (including the architectural precast concrete) was processed/manufactured in Charlotte and was extracted from locations less than 170 miles away. The stone aggregate used in the concrete mix was also extracted in Charlotte. These decisions contributed to our regional economy and minimized the burning of fossil fuels for transportation.
The roof surface – a reflective top coat membrane or a standing seam, silver metal - was specifically selected for its ability to reduce the absorption and release of radiant energy from the sun. Large, mature trees were preserved to help shade the building, to continue to separate carbon dioxide and to help cool the air around the building. By keeping the exterior of the building cooler, the cooling load for the building and the accumulations of smog are reduced.
Once inside the building, energy conservation and user comfort become paramount. Water-conserving fixtures are used throughout the building, reducing the building’s potable water use by 31% annually. The fixtures include low-flow showerheads (2.0 gpm), low-flow water closets (1.28 gpf), waterless urinals, electronic sensor faucets with low-flow aerators (0.5 gpm) in the lavatories, and a low-flow bar sink faucet (0.5 gpm) in the kitchen.
One of the most important energy-saving features is the building’s orientation, which minimizes western sun exposure and enhances the building’s energy performance in the local climatic zone. On the southern side of the building, windows are protected from direct sunlight by overhangs, thus lessening solar heat gain. This helps reduce annual energy costs by up to 27%.
Studies show that natural light and windows create more positive and productive environments; facility users enjoy views of the beautiful golf course from 97% of the regularly-occupied space. The building design uses natural light to provide sufficient light levels for all regularly-occupied areas during most occupied hours. Light shelves on the southern windows help reflect daylight deeper into the space. The glazed curtain wall on the northern wall pulls in the soft, even northern light while the clerestory window in the ceiling serves as a large light scoop to deliver natural light to the opposite end of the space.
The clerestory window and curved reflecting wall work harmoniously to balance light levels and minimize glare. The light-colored flooring and suspended white panels also help to balance light distribution. Through a collaboration with the Daylighting Studio at the UNCC School of Architecture, a daylighting model was developed to determine the optimal position and size of windows and skylights, as well as the angle and position of interior light wells and ceiling clouds for peak light reflectance. Harvesting daylight represents an estimated yearly savings of 28%.
Artificial lighting systems are linked to actual occupancy; as sunlight conditions change each zone lights to supplement the daylight entering through windows. This keeps light levels evenly distributed throughout the building. Adjusting the lighting conditions to reflect the occupancy and need lowers lighting costs.
Monitoring equipment throughout the building also adjusts ventilation rates based on occupancy. One of the most costly and energy-consuming activities in a building is mechanical ventilation. In spaces where occupancy rates are highly variable (i.e. gymnasiums) over-ventilation occurs because ventilation rates are not typically adjusted for actual occupancy. In contrast, under- ventilated spaces create occupant discomfort. Building occupants are able to control their environmental comfort, which prevents the building’s energy systems from providing more than the actual demand for energy-consumptive tasks.
Humidistats, which are located in all air-return ducts, alert the Building Automation System if relative humidity becomes greater than 60%. Managing the humidity levels further reduces energy use while simultaneously supporting occupant comfort.
No CFC-based refrigerants are used on the premises and air handling units have high-performance air filters that remove particulates. Permanent entryway systems also trap particulates and protect the indoor air quality. Print/copy/fax machines may emit gases or chemicals; subsequently, these machines are located in specially-designed workrooms. The workrooms are sealed and have an exhaust system that prevents cross-contamination of adjacent spaces.
Throughout the building recycled building materials - with both pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content - are utilized in the structure, concrete, flooring, finishes, and furnishings. This includes all of the bar-milled steel, steel beams and channels used in the project, which are made with 100% recycled steel (87% post-consumer and 13% pre-consumer recycled content).