University of Maine
Student Recreation and Fitness Center
The largest building project ever undertaken at the University of Maine at Orono, the Student Recreation Center features a three-court gymnasium, fitness center, natatorium, suspended walking/jogging track, and support spaces. The contemporary building fits seamlessly into its heavily wooded site and incorporates sustainable building materials and systems including heat-recovery systems and recyclable materials. Two double-height, skylighted galleries - one north-south and one east-west - form the primary circulation. Inside, exposed wood structure and wood paneling evoke a natural, organic ambiance. Extensive use of glass on the south façade presents views of the activities within and provides users with views out to the scenic campus. The building’s exterior material palette of architectural precast concrete panels, copper panels, field stone, and glass walls harmonizes with the natural setting. The project has achieved LEED Silver certification.
“An exceptional job in site location, interior finishes and optimizing visual accessibility. This approach expands the definition of campus recreation on campus—promoting a sense of place as well as activity. The pursuit of LEED certification is commendable.” National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association - Outstanding Sports Facility
Striking a harmonious balance with its wooded site, the Student Recreation and Fitness Center showcases the natural beauty of New England, both through ample fenestration and use of locally harvested and manufactured materials, including quartzite stone veneer and green and purple slate that adorns the monumental stair bases. Glass and structural steel are locally manufactured, and recycled materials abound, including copper wall panels containing 90% post-industrial metal, maple veneers of 100% preconsumer wood fiber, and rubber sports flooring.
Outdoor views reach 90% of indoor spaces, and low-E tinted insulated glass reduces energy costs. Further cost reductions are achieved by occupancy and carbon dioxide sensors that govern the building’s light, heat, and ventilation. VOC-free paints, preinstallation “green-guarding” of carpet and furniture, and exclusive use of green housekeeping products ensure high air quality throughout. The project received LEED Silver certification in 2008.
View LEED Points
- Cardiovascular fitness area
- Three-court gymnasium
- Multipurpose athletic court
- Weight room
- Leisure pool
- Two convertible racquetball courts
- Walking/jogging track
- Juice bar
- Three multipurpose rooms
- Two double-height, skylit galleries
- Centrally located control desk
Challenge: Create a LEED Silver University recreation center.
This LEED Silver certified building implements an array of strategies to mitigate the effects of the Maine climate while incorporating ample fenestration to maximize views of the wooded setting.
The building employs highly insulated envelope systems, including 8” of rigid insulation on the pool roof to control condensation. Glazing systems utilize double-pane, insulated low-e glass, with triple-pane, low-e coated windows in the pool and frit film in the fitness area to control solar gain. Heat pipe heat-recovery coils in the pool air-handling unit dehumidify air without mechanical cooling. The air handler serving locker and restrooms at the building core recovers heat with an enthalpy wheel and maximizes air quality by utilizing 100% outdoor supply air. A demand ventilation system tailors ventilation rates to occupancy. Energy-efficient lighting and daylighting controls are installed throughout. The result is a building that reduces annual energy costs by nearly $80,000, while serving as the center of student life on campus.
Award of Honor
Society of American Registered Architects
Citation for Design Excellence
American School & University
Excellence in Architecture
AIA New England Region
Facility of Merit
Honor Award for Design Excellence
Boston Society of Architects
Outstanding Sports Facility
National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
Esto Photographics Inc./Anton Grassl