Team Retreat - The NYC Team visited Princeton, NJ

The New York team journeyed together for our annual group retreat in a 13-person van – precisely fitting the entire team - to cross two hours South into Bensalem, PA, for our evening stay at the Ellerslie Manor House. This historic farmhouse from the 1700s went through a series of restorations in the 1800s and was fully renovated just prior this year. Along the way we stopped in for a peek at the Rubenstein Commons at the Institute for Advanced Study (Steven Holl, opened 2022). As the team settled in for the evening, we enjoyed dinner together and had discussions on how to navigate the work environment within Transsolar and beyond.

After a fantastic autumnal Frühstück, we set off again into the fall colors of Princeton for a morning of project visits. Transsolar's collaboration with Princeton spans a decade, encompassing numerous projects, including the Princeton Building Energy Vision (2016), an exploration of energy efficiency in architecture on campus linked to their then-emerging commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2046.

We toured several Transsolar projects including the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (Tod Williams Billie Tsien, opened 2016) as well as the construction sites of Dillon Gymnasium (DIGSAU & MJMA) and University Health Services (WRNS Studio). Our friend Dr. Forrest Meggers, Associate Professor of Architecture, guided us through the CHAOS Lab (Cooling and Heating for Architecturally Optimized Systems), presenting his leading-edge research on "alternative thermal paradigms to engage architecture and maximize performance."

Our exploration extended to Princeton University's new geothermal plant, TIGER (Thermally Integrated Geothermal Energy Resource). This facility utilizes a large array of geothermal boreholes and two large thermal energy storage tanks—one for hot water and another for cold water. The system's ingenuity lies in its ability to store the excess heat or cooling generated during the systems routine operation for later use, enhancing the efficiency of an already sustainable district energy geothermal system.