Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Kroon Hall...by Jim Gildea
I recently had the pleasure to go to Yale University and
specifically the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
It was my second trip there as a few years back, I was part of a
roundtable discussion on Sustainability where I was able to talk
about Bigelow's sustainability efforts. This year's visit was so
that we could see Kroon Hall and see if there were any new ideas
that Bigelow could pick up as we look to expand upon our
sustainability efforts. Kroon Hall is Yale's greenest building. The
U.S. Green Building Council awarded Kroon Hall LEED (Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification in February
2010. The building was awarded 59 points, which are 7 more than
required for the top rating of Platinum status.
One of the courtyards is actually a green roof and includes Mars
Pond (complete with actual Koi fish swimming inside), where water
from the building's roof and grounds is cleansed by aquatic plants.
The grey water is then pumped into the building, where it used for
toilets. The Hall has 2 geothermal wells 1500 feet deep which
provide heating and cooling from by using is thermal energy
generated and stored in the Earth.The building also has enough
solar panels to provide 25% of the electricity needed to power it.
The building uses 4 panels of evacuated tubes filled with glycol on
the south-facing wall provide the building with hot water and the
building is just 57 feet wide which is designed to allow the glass
walls to let the natural sunlight filter through. Their interior
lighting is also state of the art as they have occupancy sensors
that are sense not only motion to turn lights off but they also
fluctuate in intensity depending on the amount of ambient
It was nice to have an opportunity to visit the school and meet
some of the great people behind the program. Bigelow Tea has
benefited greatly from our relationship with the Yale School of
Forestry and Environmental Studies. We have worked with teams from
the school on projects such as creating an effective manner to
track and communicate our sustainability metrics, benchmarking our
overall sustainability program and currently they are assisting
with the LEED certification process. It was a great visit and we
appreciated having the opportunity to see building sustainability
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