BuiltWorlds Member, Consigli Construction, recently completed work on the first ever net-zero energy school renovation at the Lincoln School in Massachusetts. Their energy arm, ARCH, focused on decarbonization through the construction process and is currently monitoring the building’s performance.
Located due west of Boston, the Town of Lincoln sought to reinvigorate and modernize their sole educational facility. Originally built in 1948, the school had been renovated several times over, but had not been updated since 1994. The aging school was unable to support modern learning and could not operate optimally. Following nearly a decade of attempts to receive state funding, the town opted to privately fund the project and engaged with the head architect of the project, SMMA to reimagine the school as a future-forward facility targeting Net-Zero Energy building standards.
The Hanscom school is located on the Hanscom Air Force Base supporting service member families and not the broader town. The project required significant coordination and collaboration between our architects, engineers, interior designers. Its design balances the need for a changing educational pedagogy and modern physical infrastructure with preserving the school’s historic charm.
From the beginning, it was imperative that the school would be designed for Net-Zero Energy standards, with a goal of achieving a building EUI of 23 kBtu/sf/yr. Given that the fossil fuel-free school also serves the town as an emergency shelter, they sought to eliminate natural gas fuel systems for heating and cooking by designing a fully electric-operated kitchen. To achieve net-zero, the design incorporates a combination of high-efficiency mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems, including a 100% onsite solar PV roof and parking canopy system. The proposed design also includes significant work on the façade, requiring that all the brick be stripped off and wider foundations added to create space for deeper insulation for the rebuilt exterior walls and roof envelopes, to ensure that the mechanical systems function efficiently.
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