Bowdoin Bricks

The “Bricks” are the six first-year dormitory buildings — Appleton Hall, Hyde Hall, Coleman Hall, Moore Hall, Maine Hall, Winthrop Hall — located on the historic quadrangle of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. The dormitories were renovated in three phases between 2006- 2008 to update the student residence facilities for room accommodations, code compliance, and accessibility.

There were numerous goals established at the start of the project. The historic nature of the exterior of the buildings was to be preserved in accordance with the current preservation practice and recommendations from the State Historic Preservation Commission (SHPC). The buildings were to be upgraded to meet the building and fire code requirements along with improving accessibility to the buildings. The interior layout of the building was designed in a manner that continued the traditions and social structure of freshman housing. The interior layout of the building was based on three room quads grouped along generous hallway common space.

In addition to the goals mentioned above, the project was to meet the sustainability guidelines established by Bowdoin College. By establishing these sustainable goals, the College confirms their commitment to providing efficient and environmentally friendly buildings that enhance the wellbeing of the students that live and work in them. Environmental and sustainable design has many levels of benefit for the College, its students and the surrounding community. The institution benefits from the energy use reduction of the building and the students benefit from a well designed building that is environmentally friendly. Real benefits are achieved for the long term health of the local community and the planet.

The sustainable aspects of the project included the following:

  • Improved energy performance with the installation of new insulated windows
  • Installation of new efficient electric lighting systems and controls
  • Maximizing mechanical system performance
  • Use of efficient equipment and appliances that meet EPA Energy Star criteria
  • Recycled construction waste management
  • Use of building materials that are made from recycled waste and are regional
  • Improved indoor air quality that complies with ASHREA / OSHA regulations
  • Building occupants have operational control of windows, lights and HVAC systems
  • Following the LEED Green Building Rating System as a guideline the following information outlines the sustainable goals that were achieved for the project.

Sustainable Sites

Alternative Transportation: Bicycle Storage

With the intent of reducing pollution and land development impacts from automobile use, 110 individually lockable bike storage racks were provided in the basements of Appleton, Hyde, Moore and Maine Halls. 

Site Development: Limit Development Footprint / Restore Habitat

There was no development beyond the existing building footprints and all site disturbance was limited to 40’-0” beyond the existing building perimeter. The site area around the buildings were restored with native vegetation.

Stormwater Design: Quantity Control

The goal of this credit is to minimize the negative impact of stormwater runoff by limiting the amount of impervious area. Pervious paving was installed allowing infiltration into the subsurface.

Water Efficiency

Water Efficient Landscaping: With the proposed plant list for the project, there is no need for permanent irrigation because all proposed species are native to Maine, reducing water usage by 50%.

Water Use Reduction

With the intent of reducing the amount of potable water usage, the project utilizes low-flow plumbing fixtures and the use of motion sensor flushometers and faucets to conserve water usage. These measures greatly reduced the water use compared to the use pre-renovation of the buildings.

Energy and Atmosphere

Minimum Energy Performance

Variable speed drives have been used with the equipment to reduce power consumption at low use times.

Fundamental Refrigerant Management

Two spaces required air conditioning and this was provided with small mini split air conditioning systems using non CFC refrigerant. This style of equipment finds its efficiency by providing cooling only when the space requires it.

Optimize Energy Performance

Windows, mechanical systems and plumbing fixtures were upgraded to provide more efficient systems from the buildings. “Energy Star” Certified products were used for all laundry equipment. Effective use of natural light reduced the energy load for the building. Additional load reduction measures included incorporating compact fluorescent lamps / ballasts in lieu of incandescent lamps and specifying high efficiency fluorescent lamp for all fixtures.  Light fixtures in the stairwells are controlled by a daylight sensor located on top of the Hawthrone-Longfellow Library.  When it is sunny outside the lights automatically shut off.

Measurement & Verification

Steam, water and electrical meters were installed to provide ongoing accountability of building energy consumption over time.

Materials and Resources

Storage and Collection of Recyclables

With the intent to facilitate the reduction in waste generated by building occupants, fully accessible trash rooms with recyclable collection were provided in all buildings. Trash rooms in the basement were sized to accommodate containers to recycle all mixed paper, cardboard, number two (2) plastic, as well as all bottles and cans.

Building Reuse

Maintain 75% of Existing Walls, Floors and Roof Building Reuse: The building reuse of the six existing “Bricks” extends the life cycle of existing building stock, conserves resources, and retains the historic character of the college and reduced the waste and environmental impact of new building construction. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the existing walls and floors were maintained in Appleton and Maine Hall. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the existing exterior brick walls were maintained in Hyde and Winthrop Hall. The entire existing building structures (excluding openings for stairs and elevators) were maintained in Moore and Coleman Halls.

Construction Waste Management

During the course of construction, Ouellet Associates segregated the waste into five different categories prior to disposal; general trash, masonry, wood, metal and gypsum wallboard. The goal was to divert a significant portion of the debris generated through the construction process from going to a landfill and instead send the waste to a recycling facility for reuse purposes.

  • Thirty-eight percent of construction waste during the renovation of Appleton and Hyde Hall was diverted from landfill disposal.
  • Twenty-seven percent of construction waste during the construction of Coleman, Moore, Maine and Winthrop Halls was diverted from landfill disposal.
  • 116 tons of wood, 51 tons of metal, and 182 tons of concrete were recycled during the renovation of Appleton and Hyde.
  • 115 tons of wood, 225 tons of metal, and 1,635 tons of masonry were recycled during the renovation of Coleman, Moore, Maine and Winthrop.

The recycled materials were trucked by Pine Tree Waste to Commercial Paving in Scarborough where they were ground up for various recycled products including gravel road base, bio-mass fuel, and soil conditioner.

Recycled Content

The use of building products that incorporated recycled content materials within their products was extensive. With the use of these materials, this reduced the impact on the extraction and processing of new virgin materials. 

Regional Materials

The use of building products that were extracted and manufactured within the region was significant.