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Bagley Nature Center

The Bagley Nature Center is a LEED® Platinum Certified, Passivhaus Certified and net-zero classroom at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Located on a 55-acre nature preserve in the northwest part of the campus, the classroom was built to offer students a home base while conducting research in the area.

The highly energy efficient 1,500 sq.ft. building was built with an airtight building envelope to perform in Minnesota’s extremely cold winters. The envelope features a continuous thermal break throughout the entire building that includes 12” insulation, and continues past 14” Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) panels or Innotech triple glazed windows, and continues below 16” EPS insulation, a heavy membrane and a green roof. In addition, a 10 mil vapor barrier is sealed around the windows with a liquid applied waterproofing and the joint between above grade structure and foundation is sealed with a gasket. As a result of its airtight construction, Bagley Nature Center achieved an air tightness rating (Blower Door Test) of 0.47 ACH.

In 2012, the cold-climate classroom was recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) as one of the ten winners of the Top Ten Green Projects Program.

Media Coverage

Passivehaus-Datendank: Bagley Nature Classroom

Inhabitat: LEED Platinum Bagley Classroom Aims for Passive House and Net Zero Energy

AIA Top Ten 2012 Winner: Bagley Nature Center

Hallberg Engineering: Bagley Nature Center – University of MN – Duluth

Salmela Architect: Bagley Outdoor Classroom

Habitat, Energy & Architecture: Bagley Nature Center [PDF]


Photos courtesy of Paul Crosby.