The newly formed University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute (UNC-CSI) was developed to focus on studies for improving and promoting issues related to the coastal environment. It includes full-time faculty as well as researchers and professors from other regional universities. This building is the first building developed by, and dedicated to, this new division of the UNC system.
The CSI is located in Manteo, NC, on a 200-acre site along the Croatan Sound. The research facility contains laboratory, classroom and administration spaces dedicated to detailed research and training on large scale interactions between ecological systems; the ocean, the earth and the atmosphere. The research activities of the CSI requires offices, common spaces, areas for computer research, wet labs, dry labs, flexible space for equipment assembly/storage and associated facilities.
The facility was designed to achieve a LEED Gold certification, with particular emphasis on low energy use and water conservation. A combination of high performance envelope, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems contributed to the goal of the CSI to be a model for sustainability in the local and regional communities.
- To achieve the goal of low energy use, the building is heated and cooled through the use of a ground source (geothermal) heat pump system comprised of underground loops, modular chillers, cooling towers, pumps, and centralized VAV air handling units.
- 40% HVAC system energy savings over typical energy-code compliant systems.
- 50% water savings over typical code compliant systems, utilizing low-flow plumbing fixtures and storm water collection systems.
- Emergency power for life safety and research equipment loads is provided by a diesel-fueled generator.
- Complete telecommunications and A/V systems, including telephone and data are provided throughout the building and were designed by an RMF RCDD certified designer.
- Other sustainable features include cisterns for water re-use, rain gardens and energy efficient lighting with automatic control systems.