The Nature Conservancy in Brunswick, Maine. Heather Walters / Thornton Tomasetti.
Acting as the owner’s sustainability representative, commissioning agent and LEED and WELL Building consultant, Thornton Tomasetti played a critical role in the development of this 9,645-square-foot historic office renovation. Headquartered for more than 30 years in a mill building in downtown Brunswick, Thornton Tomasetti’s sustainability experts helped establish the design-build qualifications to ensure strict energy performance requirements and LEED and WELL criteria. Thornton Tomasetti was actively involved in writing the specifications for the RFP and assisted in hiring a design team which would meet the goals and priorities of the project.
Our specialists strongly advocated WELL Building Standards for the project and Thornton Tomasetti provided The Nature Conservancy with a $10,000 in-kind donation to address the design and operations of the building to support health and well-being initiatives. To meet WELL Building Standards, many elements of the design were considered, including the acoustic performance of the HVAC system, a building cleaning program, employee fitness programs, as well as the implications of circadian lighting to maximize productivity.
The project sets the bar for other office renovations and serves as a model of sustainable design in New England. One of the most unique features of the project includes a “Net Effect” carpet made from reclaimed fishing nets recaptured from the ocean floor. The new design maintains the exposed brick and post and beam structure of the historic mill building, while incorporating new, organic elements like a “wandering” wall made of locally harvested, sustainable wood and a leaf-like canopy of acoustic panels that echo natural systems. The new headquarters aims to be a net zero energy office with a large PV array installed on the roof.
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