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Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College

Middlebury, Vermont

Project Type: Education and Green Building

The Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College, a project centered on sustainability, underwent a remarkable renovation and expansion within a historic building situated at the heart of the campus. The program encompassed various spaces, including a colloquium for multi-use purposes such as classes, lectures, and meetings, a studio, flexible teaching and seminar spaces, faculty offices, administrative areas, and a welcoming lobby/lounge.

A key focus of the project was incorporating green features and sustainable practices. The building envelope was meticulously designed to enhance energy efficiency, while sustainably harvested wood was extensively utilized throughout the space, promoting responsible forestry practices. To further harness renewable energy, a roof-mounted photovoltaic array was installed, generating approximately 13% of the building’s electrical energy. Additionally, a ground-source air-conditioning system was implemented to optimize energy usage and reduce environmental impact.

The building boasts a total finished space of 8,800 square feet across two floors, with a basement and mechanical attics contributing to a total area of 13,700 square feet. The project’s commitment to sustainability and environmentally conscious design earned it the prestigious LEED Platinum certification, recognizing its exemplary performance in various sustainability categories. Furthermore, the project was honored with an Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings by Design Award, underscoring the expertise and innovative approach of the designers and builders involved.

The Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College stands as a testament to the institution’s commitment to sustainability and serves as a remarkable example of a renovated and expanded historic building that combines functionality, aesthetic appeal, and environmental stewardship.

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Photo credit Sally McCay