CR-BPS’s goal was to design and build a self-sustaining, ecologically balanced building in Northern Minnesota as an educational tool and an example that sustainable design is beautiful, functional comfortable and achievable. Although challenging, rarely achieved and little example, this persuasively sustainable building follows nature’s example – CR-BPS designed this Experiment Station earning LEED Platinum, Passive House and Net Zero Energy certifications.
This building demonstrates numerous experimental and innovative design, construction and energy efficient solutions. A constant challenge, thermal storage, uses extruded polystyrene with taconite and sand from local mines, a complex monitoring program integrates all operating systems to easily track real time building performance and metrics, solar tubes and PV panel turn light into energy and a green/vegetative roof provides insulation and blueberries.
All interior materials and furnishings are creatively recycled or reclaimed adding character and warmth. Old doors became ceiling panels, sunflower seeds became cabinets, radiators are railings, Carnegie Library book ends are drawer pulls, clay is paint and Lake Superior stones are finishes.