Dagher Engineering of New York City was recognized with an Engineering Excellence Diamond Award, for a revolutionary net-zero carbon and net-zero energy design for the Housatonic River Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The award was presented at the American Council of Engineering Companies of
With a mission to educate the public about the role rivers play in people’s lives and how their actions impact rivers and watersheds, the
One of the major challenges facing the engineering firm was the small size of the site. While many net-zero buildings today have ample land area to install large numbers of solar panels to provide their energy needs, the
Instead, Dagher Engineering incorporated highly efficient MEP systems into the envelope and structure of the building, collaborating closely with architect, NYC-based FX Fowle. Dagher Engineering worked closely with the entire design team on all aspects of the building, including: the building envelope; the orientation of the building to the site; placement of the windows on the façade; the green roof; photovoltaics; and solar thermal water heating.
Compared with a conventional system, the proposed MEP systems are economical and cost-effective, having an estimated payback period of 8 years. The museum’s expectations were exceeded in terms of the final proposed cost of $2.3 million, including the installation of the photovoltaics and the lighting schemes. This cost was only slightly more than the $2 million originally budgeted for the MEP systems.
“Through careful planning and the integration of architectural and engineering systems, this project demonstrates that a net-zero building can be achieved using common technologies at a reasonable price,” says Elias Dagher, firm founder. “Because the capital costs are comparable to conventional systems, and the payback period is relatively short, this study could have wide ranging implications for net-zero buildings throughout the
Founded in 2000, Dagher Engineering, PLLC provides mechanical, electrical, and plumbing-fire-protection design and consulting services to developers, building owners and managers, architects, and contractors in the United States and internationally.