This energy and water efficient border control station by Julie Snow Architects was designed for the U.S./Canadian border near Van Buren, Maine and its harsh weather conditions. The design blends in with the landscape of its remote site and minimizes its impact through the use of renewable energy sources, water saving systems, sustainable materials and safe finishing products.
Despite its sizeable energy demand, the design strives to reach net zero energy through the implementation of ground source heating and cooling, a solar wall, a ground-coupled heat pump, bio-diesel boilers, LED lights and lighting automation systems which produce clean energy and ensure that it is used efficiently.
The building materials were chosen for their durability, recycled content and local production. The finishes are low-VOC, formaldehyde-free, non-allergenic and resistant to mold, mildew and fungi, guaranteeing a healthy working environment for employees. In fact, the design was required to fulfil strict safety, operation and durability requirements while maintaining a welcoming aesthetic.
The design earned the Holcim Awards Bronze 2011 North America for its overall sustainability and architectural simplicity.