Southern Maine Community College Lighthouse Building Renovations

South Portland, Maine

The renovation of the SMCC Lighthouse Building converted a series of structures once belonging to an historic fort on the water’s edge in South Portland, Maine. The early 20th century, single-story brick facility was retrofitted with all new building systems optimized for energy efficiency. These included an innovative geothermal system that couples nearby ocean water with a Variable Refrigerant Volume HVAC system to simultaneously heat and cool the building. The system, the only one of its kind on the East Coast, incorporates load sharing and heat recover and is more than 200% efficient compared with traditional heating and cooling systems. An interactive touch display allows visitors to see real-time updates on the operation of this zero- emissions alternative energy system.
Additionally, the building envelope was upgraded while respecting the architectural legacy of the Lighthouse Building’s past. Brick walls were insulated, windows replaced, air barriers added, and a new roof constructed to ensure optimum indoor environment control and comfort.
New tenants required reconfiguration of the interior as well. Conference, seminar and classrooms are shared spaces while offices and entrance lobbies remain separated. The result is a contemporary environment transformed for a new use in an historic community landmark.
Photography by Blind Dog Photography