The Morris Arboretum was founded in the late 19th century as a private garden showcase for local and international horticulture. In 2008, the arboretum expanded its operations on the Bloomfield Farm site with a LEED Platinum certified project including several new structures for which BBA provided MEP engineering. The project added an education/events center, an office/carpentry building and four new vehicle storage structures. The structures feature superior building envelope performance and use natural ventilation and lighting as much as possible to offset purchased energy use.
Offices and other conditioned spaces employ high efficiency water source heat pumps connected to a ground-coupled heat exchange loop. Rainwater is collected, stored and distributed for irrigation and to flush toilets. The facility uses an average of 50 percent less water for building sewage conveyance, and 30 percent less potable water than comparable buildings with conventional plumbing systems. A solar energy collection system preheats domestic hot water for the office building. In daylit spaces, a combination of photo sensors and dimming ballast controls varies the electric lighting output to maintain a steady level of task illumination, regardless of daylight contribution. A 9 kW, grid-connected photovoltaic solar array with net metering was also incorporated.