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Sigrid Miller Pollin FAIA (2017)


Sigrid Miller Pollin FAIA is the principal of Miller Pollin AIA Architecture, a woman-owned firm based in Amherst, Mass. She is also a professor in the Architecture & Design Program in the Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a graduate of Vassar College and received her professional degree in architecture from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation.

Full Biography

Sigrid Miller Pollin FAIA
Principal, Miller Pollin Architecture
Women in Design Award of Excellence, 2017 winner

Sigrid Miller Pollin FAIA WID Board 1

Sigrid Miller Pollin designed this University of Massachusetts building to be a net zero energy facility. The site is located at the southern edge of the UMass Amherst campus. It is narrow and long with a buildable width near the street measuring only 27’ and a buildable length of 275’. The site slopes 14’ from east to west and is an infill site between two existing buildings.

Sigrid Miller Pollin FAIA WID Board 2

The constrained dimensions of the site yielded design strategies that help to create a sense of ample interior space and rich exterior articulation. These include a subtle bend in plan, modularization of the long elevations, and angular protrusions to mark entries. Interior hallways within the modules widen to create office entry nodes.

Sigrid Miller Pollin FAIA WID Board 3

The roof is covered with a high efficiency PV array. Geothermal wells on the site are a key part of the radiant heating and cooling system. In the natural ventilation system, air is conducted from the offices into a plenum running above all corridors and then drawn up through the roof with a roof fan. Monitored operable windows are coordinated with a fresh air intake system. The zinc sheathed exterior is super-insulated with triple glazing throughout. Rainwater is directed from the roof through visible exterior vertical channels. It is then filtered through terraced raingardens as it moves downhill and into a wetland area. Daylight is transferred to corridors and office entry nodes through translucent glass panels. Office windows provide ample light but are sized for maximum building envelope efficiency.

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