The recent $31.6 million restoration of Clemson University’s Rudolph Lee Hall complex has transformed a 55-year-old edifice into now what is being hailed one of the most energy-efficient academic buildings in the U.S.
The building is called “zero energy ready” because it’s designed to offset all of its energy consumption with its own renewable energy. Schwennsen says one of the primary features of the building is its use of a natural ventilation system. Also, an energy dashboard provides real-time data on the building’s temperature, humidity, energy, and water use.
Schwennsen says the building’s geothermal system of heating and cooling uses the earth’s natural temperature to maintain a comfortable environment inside. Schwennsen adds that when the famous South Carolina summer heat arrives, the building does have an air conditioning system that will come into operation.
AUDIO: Schwennsen says the building incorporates several historical elements of form and function (1:20)
Schwennsen says one of the more unique features of the two-story building is the 30,000-square foot sedum roof– which is the largest garden roof in the Southeast. Schwennsen says the garden stores water, and that works to control runoff into the water management system and keeps the roof, as well as the building, cool.
AUDIO: Schwennsen says the roof garden is aesthetically pleasing and functional (:58)
The building houses the Clemson School of Architecture, the Department of Art, Real Estate Development, and Landscape Planning and Development. The renovated Rudolph Lee Hall was officially dedicated last Friday.