North Shore Community College: Zero Net Energy

The Allied Health Building at the North Shore Community College campus in Danvers, MA  is the leading example of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ outstanding commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The project is the Commonwealth’s first state-owned zero net energy building. In order to fulfill the zero energy designation, the building includes an almost 400kW PV array designed by Solar Design Associates. For SDA, the primary design criterion was to provide enough electricity to meet the energy demands of the building. This was achieved by integrating various methods of solar module mounting and differing array orientations to maximize energy harvest at the site. The solar electric installation consists of several complete PV systems distributed among the roof and three ground-mounted solar walkway canopies.

The system also includes a Data Acquisition System, which tracks the energy production of the whole system and delivers this information on an interactive web page. This information can be readily accessed by the staff and students of the college, and is intended to spur awareness of the energy flow of the building. While solar electric generation goes a long way to achieving zero net energy, truly hitting this mark will be a product of the reduction of energy consumption by facility users.  In addition to renewable energy generation, the Allied Health Building meets  Massachusetts’ new progressive building code and incorporates energy efficient technologies like efficient lighting, a green roof, and a passive solar orientation. The project has earned a LEED Gold certification.

See more of SDA’s Zero Net Energy Projects

Parking Lot View of Allied Health Building
Parking Lot Walkway Canopy


Allied Health Building North Facade with PV Structure


Featured image courtesy of DiMella Shaffer, Architect of Record for the project