Northeastern ISEC: Innovative Energy Saving Strategies

Hilary Williams, Arup
Andrea Love, Payette

Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) a 236,000-square-foot research facility that provides state-of-the-science infrastructure, and increases the university's capacity to hire top faculty and academic leaders. The new facility will support teaching and interdisciplinary research programs fostering collaboration across disciplines in the College of Science, the College of Engineering, the Bouvé College of Health Science, and the College of Computer and Information Science.

With the specific target of LEED Platinum the building incorporates many cutting edge design strategies, without losing site of the goals of beauty, comfort and flexibility and where possible complementing those goals.

This talk will describe the strategies and system used at ISEC to meet our energy saving targets.

Central Plant:

  • Heat recovery modular chillers used heat rejected to provide building heating
  • High Efficiency Chillers: Oil Free bearings
  • Condensing Boilers and low heating water temperatures.
  • Pre-heat DHW from heating hot water system
  • Heat recovery: Run around coils with variable flow and targeted control
  • Solar Wall and hot water systems
  • Rainwater recovery for toilet flushing

Distributions systems:

  • Cascade air system
  • Chilled Beams with VAV control
  • Displacement ventilation in the auditorium
  • Demand control ventilations
  • Occupancy sensors controlling HVAC and Lighting and fume hoods
  • Low flow fume hoods
  • Energy efficient Lighting design and control, daylighting

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a road map to achieve high performance design
  • Understand how to select ECM's to match the building uses and load drivers
  • Recognize the opportunities for new technologies and design strategies to apply to other projects
  • Have a high level understanding of some of the key advantages and consideration related to some common HVAC systems.


Hilary is an Associate in Arup's Boston office who brings over fifteen years of experience in mechanical design, analysis and construction. Hilary was the lead mechanical engineer for the Northeastern ISEC project and has extensive experience in laboratory's, educational facilities and energy optimization projects. She has recently been elected to the role of Secretary of the New England I2SL in addition to representing the local chapter on the Executive Advisory Committee to the National I2SL.

Andrea is the Director of Building Science at Payette working across all projects to bring rigor to the performance of our work, and has worked on numerous research buildings that have won sustainable design awards. She leads the firm's internal research projects, and was the Principal Investigator on the AIA Upjohn Grant focused on thermal bridging. She is a licensed architect and Lecturer at MIT in Building Technology. Andrea is a LEED Fellow and 2017 recipient of the AIA Young Architect Award


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