THE JOHN W. OLVER DESIGN BUILDING
WINS PRESTIGIOUS
2020
COTE TOP TEN AWARD
FOR SUSTAINABLE DESIGN EXCELLENCE

BVH is honored to announce that the John W. Olver Design Building at UMass Amherst was awarded a 2020 COTE Top Ten Award by The American Institute of Architects (AIA). The COTE Top Ten Award is the industry’s best-known award program for sustainable design excellence. Each year, ten innovative projects are recognized for their integration of design excellence with environmental performance.

Working with Leers Weinzapfel Associates, BVH provided site utility, mechanical, electrical, plumbing/fire protection, technology and security engineering for this project that exemplifies UMass Amherst’s commitment to sustainability and innovative design.

Illustration provided by Leers Weinzapfel Associates

BVH’s design for energy efficiencies included passive design strategies and active systems and technologies that made significant impacts in conserving energy, improving building performance, function, comfort and enjoyment for end-users. The Olver Building’s energy cost savings are almost 43% better than the applicable energy code. By implementing an integrated approach to sustainability, the design team was able to maximize the impact of passive design, while incorporating strategic engineering solutions to minimize energy use. These solutions include:

  • A compact, courtyard-inspired building form reduces envelope heat loss while allowing occupied spaces to have generous natural light and views to campus, significantly reducing artificial lighting energy use. Occupancy sensors and automatic daylight dimming in perimeter offices and studios further reduce lighting loads.
  • Four separate air-handling units serve distinct building uses to optimize system responsiveness while increasing overall energy efficiency. Two separate hot and cold water loops – one for AHUs/chilled beams and the other for fan coils – leverage the efficiency of district steam/chilled water and further fine-tune the building’s performance. 
  • The central “commons” gathering area uses a radiant floor system, maintaining occupant comfort while lowering the set point temperature and reducing energy consumption.

Congratulations to UMass Amherst, Leers Weinzapfel Associates, and the entire design and construction team on this prestigious honor.