Stanford University is lowering its carbon footprint by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas it introduces into the environment. With the opening of the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building, the university is demonstrating its commitment to creating a sustainable, environmentally friendly campus.
Dubbed Y2E2, the building is
named after the co-founder of Yahoo! and his wife who contributed $50 million
toward the project. Working with a design team from BOORA Architects of
Portland, Oregon and Arup, an international consulting firm that provides
planning, engineering, and project management services, Ruskin provided key
components of the passive air management system that takes advantage of one of
nature’s basic laws – hot air rises, cold air drops.
“Through a creative use of stacked louvers in the atriums, we’re
able to provide a system that automatically delivers cool air throughout the
day while minimizing energy consumption,” said Tom Edwards, Ruskin president.
Known as the “lungs of the
building” each of the four atriums rises up 89 ft – 24 ft and 6 in. above the
roof. At night, when the outside air drops to around 60°F, the louvers open. At
the same time a computer analyzes the indoor air temperature and determines
which windows within the building to open. Then, like a giant siphon, the
louvers above each atrium pull the warm air up and discharge it out of the
In an interview with KGO-TV,
Dick Luthy, Stanford civil and environmental engineer chairman, said that
process “will let the building naturally breathe and cool down.”
This passive cooling system is
expected to significantly reduce the building’s energy. In total, the building’s
design should provide a 50% reduction in resource usage.
In order to meet Stanford’s
interest in creating a modern building yet retain the classic form of the other
structures on the campus, Ruskin provided combination louvers faced with
Reliable atrium grills. Combination louvers combine the aesthetic appearance of
stationary louvers with positive airflow shutoff capabilities.
In addition, Ruskin control and
combination fire/smoke dampers with airfoil blades completed the design to
ensure occupant comfort and life safety with low airflow resistance in the open
position and Class I ultra low leakage in the full closed position.
“The creation of this building
was truly a collaborative effort where experts from a variety of disciplines
came together and produced something uniquely special,” said Edwards.
While the impact of this unique
design will be felt daily by those who use the building, the far-reaching
implications exceed anything that could be measured on a day-to-day basis. “We
felt this was one of the best investments that we could make for the next
generation, and our children,” said Yamazaki while standing in one of the
trademark atriums during the building’s dedication. “For our children to be
able to enjoy and experience what we’ve been blessed with, we cannot afford not
to do something today.”
For more information, visit www.ruskin.com.
Ruskin helps Stanford lower its carbon footprint
May 15, 2008