52 Harpswell

In 2014, this property formerly known as the Stevens Home, underwent renovations to accommodate up to 35 students in 20 sleeping rooms. Instead of demolishing the former Stevens Home, Bowdoin contractors reused the entire framework of the building, saving a significant amount of embodied energy and radically decreasing the carbon footprint of the construction process. Renovation improvements included significant upgrades to shared spaces such as the kitchen, bathrooms, common lounge and study spaces. The project was designed to become Bowdoin’s first LEED-certified renovation project. In April 2015 the building was awarded LEED gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  Along with the enhancements for students and sustainable building systems, the renovations addressed life-safety code requirements and major building systems, including heating, ventilation, power, lighting and communications infrastructure.

Sustainable Sites

  • Over the course of the renovation there was a net reduction of impervious surface.  Using best management practices the project received LEED credit for both storm water quantity and quality control. 
  • Covered bike racks were installed to provide adequate bike parking for residents.
  • Preferred Parking has been provided for Low-Emission & Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Water Efficiency

  • No irrigation was installed on site.  A rain barrel was added to the site to capture rainwater from the roof for use at the Bowdoin Organic Garden, located directly behind the house.
  • Landscaping around the house is comprised of indigenous plants such as northern high bush blueberry, winterberry, shad bush, red maple, and witch hazel.  These plants were selected because of their low maintenance nature that will not require irrigation.  This practice conserves potable water and avoids compromising water quality.
  • The restrooms utilize low flow showers, faucets, toilets, and urinals, resulting in a 30 percent overall reduction in water use over typical fixtures.

Energy & Atmosphere

  • The building envelope was upgraded to provide a comfortable and more energy efficient environment.   The project added insulation throughout the building, provided new double-paned windows to minimize draft, and added two energy recovery ventilators that pre-heat incoming outside air.
  • The mechanical systems were also upgraded for efficiency – including the replacement of an oil fired hot water boiler with a High Efficiency NG boiler and the delivery system was switched from steam to fin tube hot water delivery. 

Materials & Resources

  • Existing drywall throughout the building was reused and the hardwood floors underneath the old carpeting was kept and refinished.
  • Waste was reduced by diverting seventy-five percent of construction debris for reuse and recycling versus utilizing landfill space.
  • Sixteen percent of building materials (by dollar value) came from with 500 miles, reducing emissions from transportation while supporting the local economy.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • In order to provide a high level of indoor air quality, all adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and composite wood used are low in volatile organic compounds.
  • During construction an indoor air quality plan was followed to limit indoor air quality issues for both construction workers and the eventual occupants of the building.
  • To enhance occupant well-being, a high level control was provided to building occupants for their thermal comfort.  Thermostatic controls are located in each bedroom and meeting space throughout the building.
  • Views of the outdoors, also known to improve occupant well-being, are visible in 90% of the spaces.