The 24,000 sf Garthwaite Center for Science and Art at the Cambridge School of Weston is a signature example of building systems melded with architecture to create a wonderful and educational experience. The project started with aggressive sustainability goals including aggressive energy consumption, comfort, use of renewables, visual awareness of the systems that support the building and water reduction. van Zelm worked with the design team to develop a “systems on display” approach whereby visitors to the building can directly observe the primary building systems overhead and through glass walls into the main mechanical rooms. The building features a wood pellet boiler, a high efficiency enthalpy wheel built with windows to see the wheel in operation, composting toilets, and displacement ventilation air delivery. The art gallery is one of the first commercial applications of tunable LED lighting in the country.
While LEED certification was not pursued, the project would have been eligible for a platinum rating. Recognition of this wonderful and responsibly developed building include: 2006 AIA Committee on the Environment top 10 Green Design Award, Boston Society of Architects Sustainable Design Award, Sustainable Building Industry Council Award, and AIA New England Design Award.