The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, located on the ecologically sensitive bay, is gaining widespread attention as an exciting new net-zero space. A Kentucky manufacturer, Big Ass Fans, played a large role in the exceptional building’s reduced energy needs.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, whose mission is to preserve the fragile estuary, has a tradition of green-focused architecture. The group’s Annapolis, Maryland, headquarters became the world’s first LEED® Platinum building upon its opening in 2001. When it came time to build the Brock Environmental Center, a space designed primarily for community outreach and education, the non-profit wanted to raise the bar again and go even greener. That required a solution that would lessen the reliance on inefficient air conditioning but still satisfy the public’s expectations for comfort—while putting as little strain as possible on the center’s solar- and wind-powered electrical supply. That’s where Big Ass Fans entered the picture.
Big Ass Fans’ Haiku ceiling fan was designed for both residential and commercial use and has been recognized as Most Efficient of ENERGY STAR® several years in a row by the U.S. Department of Energy, scoring as high as nine times above the baseline. Designers from SmithGroup JJR, the architecture, design and planning firm that spearheaded the Brock Environmental Center, recommended eight Haiku fans to complement natural ventilation and provide cooling airflow to employees and visitors.
The fans greatly reduce the need for air conditioning and uniformly distribute air throughout the space. “We’re using less air conditioning than we predicted,” said Center manager Chris Gorri. “When the temperature gets high enough that we’re supposed to go into air-conditioning mode, which uses a lot of energy, the Haiku fans and open windows keep us perfectly comfortable.”
LEED Platinum and even stricter certifications are on the horizon for the net-zero building, thanks in part to Kentucky’s Big Ass Fans.
“ When the temperature gets high enough that we’re supposed to go into air-conditioning mode, which uses a lot of energy, the Haiku fans and open windows keep us perfectly comfortable. Chris Gorri, Center manager