Net Zero Energy Welcome Center
Furthering Millersville University’s mission “to contribute positively to local and global communities," the Campus’s new welcome center is a showcase of sustainability for students, staff, and visitors. The first Zero Energy Certified building in Pennsylvania, Lombardo Welcome Center has actually been regularly achieving net positive energy. At times, Lombardo Welcome Center generates more than 200% of its annual energy usage, thus making it one of the top five most positive energy buildings in the country. The extra energy generated is shared with other buildings on campus, contributing to Millersville’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2040.
The Lombardo Welcome Center is a 14,600 SF building that is home to the University’s admissions, marketing, sustainability, and student housing departments. With a focus on zero energy and other sustainability goals for the project, AKF designed building systems including photovoltaic systems comprised of more than 500 rooftop solar panels, building integrated solar glass, and a ground-mounted solar array with dual axis tracking. Other features include geothermal wells, heat pumps to allow temperature control for every office, a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS), low flow plumbing fixtures, rainwater collection for on-site storm water infiltration, and low energy lighting with daylight dimming controls.
An energy dashboard system in the lobby helps occupants and visitors understand the building’s energy usage and generation, as well as their individual impact on energy used. While most building systems were designed to be “invisible,” the dashboard and ground-mounted PV array serve as physical reminders of the building’s purpose, further encouraging energy-conscious behavior.