In its primary function as a teaching institution, the Bosarge Family Education Center provides an example of environmentally responsible design and technology. The Education Center has flexible classroom and meeting spaces, exhibit spaces, lobby, and outdoor terraces. The building provides strong connections to the surrounding outdoor gardens and classrooms through transparency, view, and multiple points of access. Natural finishes were used wherever possible, including clear wood finishes, mill finish aluminum, and polished concrete. 85% of the wood used was certified as sustainably harvested.
The Net-Zero strategy includes a 45 kW photovoltaic array that provides 100% of the energy required to power the building. The building has R-40 walls, R-60 roofs, and R-20 foundation, and triple-glazed windows with an R-value of 7.25. Ventilation, provided by energy recovery ventilators, recover 70% of the heat from exhaust air and delivery it back to the fresh incoming air stream. Water reduction strategies include rainwater collection, low flow plumbing fixtures, and solar heated hot water. Meters measure and verify energy usage by indoor lighting, outdoor lighting, mechanical systems, and plumbing systems that can be viewed on the energy dashboard located in the lobby. The building was constructed with pre-manufactured wall panels engineered with green wall systems by Bensonwood of Walpole, NH. During on-site construction 90% of waste was recycled.