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Innovation Center: Future-Proofing

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FUTURE-PROOFING

Many buildings can be high performance on day one, but RMI sought out to develop a 100-year building that maximized its efficiency throughout its lifecycle. This meant the team needed to tailor the design adapt and evolve with new technologies, designs, aesthetics, and staff needs over the building’s lifetime.

To ‘future-proof’ the Innovation Center, we added extra electrical conduits throughout the building to allow for future replacement of data cords, wires, and other key electric infrastructure. While this required additional cost and planning up front, this step guarantees long-term efficiency savings as we adapt to new technologies. Examples include extra space in the building’s mechanical room for future battery expansion, and room for conduit to upgrade to bidirectional electric vehicle charging.

RESILIENCE

Durability and longevity were primary requirements of Innovation Center design. The following features create a timeless, 100-year building:

  • Its open office area is flexible and adaptable to evolving work styles and technologies.
  • Exterior stone and metal panels age well and ensure low maintenance costs.
  • Extra conduit in floors and walls allow for inexpensive adaptation to future information technologies and direct-current distribution.
  • Modular heating and cooling systems expand easily to adapt to climate change.
  • Durable interior finishes include easily replaceable carpet tiles, concrete floors, painted walls, and acoustic fabric walls.
  • This net-zero-energy building significantly reduces risk of electricity-price volatility.
  • The site is more than one foot above the 500-year floodplain to avoid flooding that climate change may exacerbate.
  • The town of Basalt has entitled RMI to a 4,400 square foot addition, should it be needed.

 

“We can’t predict what technologies will be available in the future, but we can save costs by anticipating infrastructure needs and minimizing the work needed to change equipment out.” -- Craig Schiller

 
 
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