Merrill Hall at the Center for Urban Horticulture

Merrill Hall is an 18,400 square foot, two-story, wood-frame, educational building with classrooms, labs, offices, and a library. The previous building burned almost completely when bombed by eco-terrorists in early 2001.

O’Brien & Company began work by conducting an eco-charette to develop a set of sustainability goals that would drive the project through the design and construction. As the sustainability consultant, we worked with the design team and owner to evaluate the feasibility of LEED certification in addition to achieving specific sustainable design goals.

Once the decision to pursue LEED was made, we facilitated the involvement of the project team, provided technical assistance, and managed the documentation. Because much of the project was funded through donations, we also tracked which strategies could be included at no-to-low cost, and the rough cost of strategies that would require separate funding.

The finished project features a demonstration green roof, storm water garden, rainwater tank, runnel, bioswale, and on-site filtration to provide storm water flow control and treatment and water for irrigation. The building is also naturally cooled and features a variety of “good wood” options from engineered, salvaged, SFI certified, to FSC certified.