Greens Farms Academy

Location Westport, CT

Category Education

Campus Envelope Energy Assessment and Building Enclosure Peer Review

An independent PreK-12 day school, Greens Farms Academy is housed in a former Vanderbilt estate in the Greens Farms section of Westport. The original mansion dates from 1935, and it has grown since the 1970s with multiple additions, creating one large, interconnected structure. At the intersections among these diverse building sections, which range in facade construction from stone masonry to brick to a combination of stone and wood siding, the Academy observed air and energy leakage. In an effort to identify contributing factors related the building enclosure, Greens Farms retained Hoffmann Architects + Engineers to conduct an energy assessment.

Our design professionals observed that the varying roof elevations, clad in everything from clay tile to EPDM to asphalt shingles, create difficult intersections to seal against air and water entry. The vast differences in materials and construction types across the interconnected structures make them difficult to detail.

Hoffmann’s design professionals reviewed problematic locations throughout the school, comparing observed conditions to original building plans and supplementing the investigation with infrared thermography. In a detailed report, we outlined the probable causes of energy loss in each area, including building interfaces, discontinuous or missing insulation, deteriorated weather stripping, and air flow in ceiling cavity spaces. To address the energy leaks, our architects and engineers provided recommendations for remedial action.

In addition to the energy assessment, Hoffmann provided building enclosure consultation services for a new addition to the school facility. Our architects and engineers reviewed designs for a canopy and colonnade for the new building and provided input on details for the intersection between the old and new structures.

With a scenic 42-acre campus overlooking Long Island Sound and an architectural history that dates to the heyday of lavish country estates, Greens Farms Academy aims to bring a contemporary sensibility to its rich heritage. At both existing and new parts of the campus, building enclosure energy evaluation and performance improvements not only reduce operating costs, they improve indoor comfort and prolong the life of building components.