Bosarge Family Education Center – Coast Maine Botanical Gardens

This 8000 s.f. LEED Platinum Education Center situated at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is being hailed as the “greenest building in Maine,” offsetting all of its energy needs by producing electricity on site.

The Bosarge Family Education Center will be the third net zero non-residential building in all of New England, and is only the second commercial LEED Platinum building in Maine. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Buildings Database lists only 8 non-residential buildings nationwide that have achieved net-zero-energy status.

  • The walls and roof that make up the building envelope are at least a foot thick and capable of producing an impressive efficiency rating of R40 in the walls and R60 in the roof. The most efficient triple-glazed windows that can be bought in the U.S provide passive solar gain in the winter, while keeping out the heat in the summer.
  • To produce the energy load required to achieve NetZero, the building is equipped with 135 photovoltaic panels on the south side of the roof, plus an additional 102-panel array on the ground. Payback from the solar system is estimated at 10 years.
  • Rainwater is stored in a 1700 gallon “Gray Water” tank that will be used for flushing toilets and will reduce potable water consumption by over 75 percent.
  • Mechanical and electrical engineering systems includes a massive array of onsite solar photovoltaic electricity generation capable of generating 55,184 kilowatt hours.

The structure is a collaborative design effort by a team of highly skilled professional design firms including Allied Engineering, Fore Solutions,  Scott Simons Architects, and Maclay Architects.

This project has been cited for numerous awards and designations, including:

  • First Place Winner of the NESEA 2013 Zero Net Energy Building Award
  • MEREDA Deep Energy Retrofits Presentation – 2011 (Ian MacDonald)
  • AIA Maine 2013 COTE Awards (Committee on the Environment) Institutional/Educational Citation Award (third)