Keeping up with Campus Climate Commitments: The Cape Cod Community College Wilkens Science Center

Patrick Murphy, Vanderweil Engineers
Jim Collins, Payette

Many colleges, universities, corporations, and institutions have established goals for carbon neutrality within the next 30 years, and made progress reducing energy consumption while continuing to grow. Few of these institutions have committed to net zero energy labs, or used their labs as a catalyst for significant campus progress on climate commitments. The new Wilkens Science Center at Cape Cod Community College is an example of a design team and owner collaborating to exceed these climate commitments in the design of this net positive energy, all-electric, low-embodied carbon lab.

This presentation will review the case study of innovative programming, materials, lab controls, and systems design strategies; the impact these strategies had on the carbon footprint of the project; and how attendees can apply these lessons to their own projects.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn to assess system options for a project to achieve carbon reduction, resiliency, and net zero goals;
  • Be able to weigh the relative impacts of both operational and embodied carbon of their design decisions;
  • Apply lessons about laboratory programming and controls to minimize energy use; and
  • Learn how to utilize cost-effective strategies for energy and embodied carbon reduction and renewable energy production.


As Director of Sustainable Design for Vanderweil Engineers, Patrick is leveraging his background as an architectural engineer and experience in sustainable, integrated, and innovative building design to inform designs through rigorous energy and water analysis.

Since joining Payette, Jim has applied the best principles in lab planning and design to create environments that respond to the changing nature of scientific inquiry. As President of the firm (1998-2013), Jim brought increased focus to the firmís sustainable initiatives to continue to raise the practice to national prominence.


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