World’s Most Energy Efficient Building

Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc has been commissioned to design the Madawaska Highlands Observatory Visitors Centre. Using a true Zen approach, in tune with nature, the project is designed to be a zero-carbon and a zero-impact building. The 30,000 square foot building will be off-grid, the largest of its kind in the world, producing 100% of its energy from renewables, including photovoltaics for electric power, solar thermal for heating and hot water and ground sourced heat pumps for cooling, heating and hot water. With one million watt-hours of battery storage, the facility can operate with several days of heavy overcast and the shortest days of winter. The innovative building design is ultra-efficient, maximizing the use of ambient daylight, piping it to key areas of the building, using radiant heating and cooling, chilled water cooling and room-by-room CO2 triggered heat exchanges for maximum efficiency. Collecting rain water with a hundred thousand gallon cistern and processing its grey water and using composting toilets, the facility will not require a well or septic bed. In every sense of the word, it is the most efficient and environmentally pure commercial building in the world. This is even more pronounced when you realize that no amenities have been spared and with over 200,000 people per year expected to visit, this building is a landmark of energy self-sufficiency. The project:   READ MORE