School Life

The Math and Science Center

The Math and Science Center (MASC)

Millbrook's Gold LEED Rated Building, designed by Voith & Mactavish Architects.
Millbrook School built a new Math & Science Center (Hamilton Math & Science Center) to advance our mission of providing quality educational experiences for students. This building was designed with the goal of achieving the gold level of LEED certification (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, a designation awarded by the US Green Building Council), the first such building on Millbrook’s campus. In reaching for the gold level of certification, we are proud to make a strong statement about the importance of the cornerstone of our mission “Stewardship of the Environment”.
Building Program:
The building is 25,000 square feet and houses four science classrooms with attached labs: chemistry, biology, physics, and general sciences, with the appropriate prep and storage to support these labs. Advanced study areas are also included. The math department has five classrooms, as well as storage for academic support materials. The math and science department share a faculty office with desks for each department member, meeting space, and a conference area.

The building is also the central hub for the school’s information technology staff, which includes student support. The school has a significant teaching collection of eggs, taxidermy, fossils and the like which are prominently displayed within the halls to assist in student instruction. Collection storage will allow the displays to be switched while properly caring for the objects in off times. Its location on the campus was carefully chosen for its proximity to the Trevor Zoo and the natural marshes on campus, which allow for academic lessons to easily expand beyond the walls of the building.
Building Design:
The Frederic C. Hamilton Math and Science Center was designed in the quiet Georgian style that typifies Millbrook's campus, while simultaneously bringing the modern technology and design needed to solve the complex requirements of a science building that meets LEED standards. Much of the building is very traditional in its proportion, materials and detailing. The major building materials are clapboards and brick with a standing seam roof. Only two small areas of curtainwall glazing hint of the modern uses of the building.
LEED Certification:
Upon initial groundbreaking, there were only ten Gold certified buildings in the state of New York, making this an exciting project for both the school and the community. The LEED certification process goes through a rigorous series of reviews in six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy efficiency, efficient use of resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovative design. Millbrook is proud to have one of the first 30 Gold LEED certified buildings in New York; today, that number is 90 and growing and includes schools such as Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Manhattanville College.

MASC Highlights

List of 10 items.

  • Ground Coupled Heat Source

    Ground coupled heat source for heating and cooling. Sixteen wells dug 495' into the ground provide a base temperature to the building to minimize heating and cooling requirements from other energy sources.
  • Solar Heat

    The curtain wall circulation areas function as passive solar heat collectors and reduce the need for heat in the winter. In summer, these areas are shaded either by solar trellises attached to the building or by shade trees.
  • Natural Day Lighting

    The curtain wall provides balanced light into the classrooms and labs so that for most of the school year the need to turn on the lights is minimal. Over 75% of the building’s occupied spaces receive natural light. Views to the outside have been proven to assist in the assimilation of academic material.
  • Reduced Water Usage

    Rain water from the roof is stored in the interior and used as grey water flushing of commodes and irrigation of the greenhouse. All other runoff is handled in a bio swale, returning the water to the ground water system on site. Further reduction in water usage is provided by low volume toilets and waterless urinals.
  • Natural Shade

    The existing access drive and parking area are in use. A small amount of additional parking has been provided. Both the existing and the new paving are shaded by trees, providing for a reduction of heat absorption.
  • Solar Hot Water

    All of the hot water is heated by vacuum tube panels located on the western end of the south-facing roof. This system provides water up to 190 degrees F.
  • Solar-Powered Electricity

    Solar photovoltaic collectors run horizontally across the flat sections of the roof and provide a small amount of electricity used in the building or returned to the grid.
  • Excellent Ventilation

    Chimneys house ventilation stacks required by the hoods in the labs, and vents provide mechanically assisted ventilation to all the teaching spaces. This reduces the need for air conditioning.
  • Use of Recycled Materials

    Reused, recycled, local and certified materials have been used throughout. For example, 25% of the wood comes from sustainably managed forests (FSC certified). The rest of the wood was locally sourced. The steel has a high recycled content. The concrete aggregate, linoleum flooring, and tiles made from glass all add to the beauty and sustainability of the building.
  • High Indoor Air Quality

    The paints, adhesives, glues, and carpets are all specified for very low to zero off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCS). The mechanical system was protected during construction so that there was minimal construction debris caught in the system. The building ventilated and tested prior to occupancy.

Frequently Asked Questions About MASC

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What is MASC?

    MASC refers to our new 25,000 square foot Math and Science Center. The ground-breaking for Millbrook’s newest building took place on October 20th, 2006 during Parents Weekend, and students attended classes in MASC for the first time on March 25, 2008.
  • Q. What is COBRAS?

    COBRAS is the Committee on Building a Really Awesome Science (and Math Building). As is the Millbrook tradition, new building planning committees are made up of interested faculty and students. Those select few who called themselves COBRAS and participated in the planning of this beautiful building are Science Department Chair Barry Rosenbaum; Math Department Chair Todd Feitelson; Associate Director of the Trevor Zoo (and Science Department member) Dr. Alan Tousignant; Math Department member, Martha Clizbe; Headmaster Drew Casertano; Dean of Faculty Kathy Havard; Director of Finance and Operations Malcolm Travelstead; Director of the Physical Plant Barry Schnoor; various student SCAPE members, and the building architects, Voith and Mactavish.
  • Q. What are the LEED guidelines?

    LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a guideline published by the U.S. Green Building Council; to what degree a building is certified depends upon how many guidelines are incorporated into its design and construction. The more corresponding points earned, the higher the level achieved. The basic level is LEED certification; the second, silver; the third, gold; and the highest, platinum. One applies for certification, then a year or so after the building has been up and running, certification is either granted or denied based upon environmental function and design.
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