Cold Climate Housing Research Center

Fairbanks, AK
BACK TO PROJECTS

A research and testing facility with a mission to promote and advance the development of healthy, durable, and sustainable shelter

 

  • Builder’s resource library on premises focused on building in cold climates.
  • Over 1200 sensors in the foundation and envelope to monitor the foundation strategy, mechanical systems and lighting systems
  • REMOTE (Residential Exterior Membrane Outside Insulation Technique) wall system
  • Alaskan-made triple pane windows
  • Solar photovoltaics and solar hot water
  • LEED Platinum® 

The Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) is a 501 C 3 corporation that was created by members of the Alaska State Home Building Association. The 15,000 square foot Research and Testing Facility (RTF) is located on the campus of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The building contains office spaces and a builder’s resource library on building in cold climates. The building itself is intended to be an ongoing research project and contains over 1200 sensors in the foundation and envelope. These sensors monitor the foundation strategy, mechanical systems and lighting systems.

Achieving LEED Platinum is difficult anywhere but being in an extreme climate created additional challenges. To achieve advanced energy performance, the RTF used a REMOTE (Residential Exterior Membrane Outside Insulation Technique) wall system, Alaskan-made triple pane windows, solar thermal systems, and residential HRVs. The building has solar photovoltaics and solar hot water and hopes to be operating as a net-zero energy building in the near future.

 

After a 6-year long process of design, construction and occupation of the building, O’Brien360 was hired to help the RTF earn the LEED Platinum certification it deserved. Our staff resurrected the existing LEED documentation and worked through technical issues with the Green Building Certification Institute. We challenged denied credits by writing and organization additional information that proved the building had met the credit’s intent. As a result, the RTF became most northern LEED Platinum building that has been certified to date.

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