Saco Train Station- Saco, M
Site Planning and New Building
Lassel Architects was hired to design the Saco Transportation Center, which houses the train station for Amtrak/ Downeaster, a bus station, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Information. The design includes state-of-the-art technology and sustainable design methods. Located on a reclaimed brownfield site, this building provides public transportation opportunities, is highly insulated, provides daylighting and addresses passive solar design. A wind turbine provides electricity, while a geothermal system provides heating and cooling. The building opened in February of 2009 and received the CNU NE Urbanism Award for the State of Maine.
Building Orientation and Glazing:
The building is oriented along an east-west axis, with generous south-facing glazing that provides daylight and winter solar gain. The windows are protected by the 6 foot overhangs, eliminating solar gain in the summer. Low-E Argon filled double glazing with thermally separated frames were used throughout. Translucent panels at the eastern gable end and central skylight provide additional daylighting. The Translucent panel system diffuses the sun’s light, blocks Infra-red and Ultra-violet light, and provides a high R-value to limit heat gain and loss.
The geothermal system provides both heating as well as cooling. High-efficiency fan-coil units are used to heat and cool the office space. The transportation center’s lobby is heated using radiant heat tubes, embedded in the insulated concrete slab. Vestibules are provided at all main entries, with automatic sliding doors that have winter and summer settings in order to control the amount of air moving through the entries.
To provide a highly-insulated and air-tight building shell, rigid insulation is applied to the exterior of the structure, thus eliminating thermal bridging. SIP panels (Structurally Insulated Panels) are used over the glu-laminated trusses of the lobby. Over the office spaces, blown-in cellulose insulation, a recycled product, provides R-49 insulation.
Energy efficient lighting fixtures, including fluorescent and metal halide fixtures, with occupancy sensors save electricity. Low-consumption plumbing fixtures are provided. Motion sensors at the sinks reduce water usage further.
Drought-resistant vegetation reduces water usage. Site lighting is achieved with high cut-off fixtures to reduce light pollution. A combination of time schedule-based control and photocell sensors save electricity.
The structural wall system consists of metal studs, which contain a high percentage of recycled steel and are recyclable at the end of their life. The trim material (MiraTEC) is a composite trim board made from trees that cannot be used for dimensional lumber, wood by-products from a variety of sources, and non-formaldehyde emitting resins. An artificial slate product made of recycled soda bottles was used on the roof. A variety of local products were used to avoid unnecessary transport and processing. Low VOC products, including carpet, paints and stains support a healthy interior environment. The furniture was made of native maple by Richardson-Allen of Biddeford.