Bringing the first Trappist Brewery to the US Marketplace

Spencer Brewery

Spencer, Massachusetts

In need of additional revenue to support their monastery and community work in the Town of Spencer, MA, the Trappist monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey decided to start a brewery. While Trappist monks have been brewing beer for centuries, Spencer Brewery opened its doors earlier this year as the first Trappist brewery outside of Europe.

One of only nine such breweries in the world, the 36,000-square-foot, sleek, stainless steel brew house sits behind the stone abbey on monastery grounds. The facility houses state-of-the-art mechanical systems and equipment that produce the first and only certified Trappist beer made in the United States.

BVH performed MEP design for this unique facility, which required careful coordination with the German-engineered brewing and bottling equipment. The mechanical systems were designed to accommodate the brewery’s precise functional requirements while providing a sustainable strategy for the long -term operations of the facility.

The facility places a big focus on sustainability and green practices: Local products are used for production, and organic byproducts from the brewing process are collected and stored on-site for reuse in farming operations and as an antifreeze ingredient in the Town of Spencer’s winter road maintenance program. Local farmers also use the spent grain as animal feed and compost, and the brewery plans to install solar panels on the roof soon.

The massive brewery has a capacity to brew 40,000 barrels a year, but the Trappists have begun brewing just twice a week for a total of 4,000 barrels per year, equivalent to 1.3 million bottles. The monks plan to increase annual production to 10,000 barrels in the next five years. Spencer Abby Ale is currently sold in 11.2-ounce bottles to distributors in Massachusetts.

BVH’s scope included HVAC system design with custom air handling units, process steam boiler, domestic water with well and storage tank, fire protection, office and lab area, and new electrical service and generator.

Architect

LLT Architects

Size / Cost

36,000 SF / $10 million

Award

Award of Merit from AIA New York State

Services

Civil, site utility, mechanical, electrical, plumbing/fire protection and technology design

In need of additional revenue to support their monastery and community work in the Town of Spencer, MA, the Trappist monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey decided to start a brewery. While Trappist monks have been brewing beer for centuries, Spencer Brewery opened its doors earlier this year as the first Trappist brewery outside of Europe.

One of only nine such breweries in the world, the 36,000-square-foot, sleek, stainless steel brew house sits behind the stone abbey on monastery grounds. The facility houses state-of-the-art mechanical systems and equipment that produce the first and only certified Trappist beer made in the United States.

BVH performed MEP design for this unique facility, which required careful coordination with the German-engineered brewing and bottling equipment. The mechanical systems were designed to accommodate the brewery’s precise functional requirements while providing a sustainable strategy for the long -term operations of the facility.

The facility places a big focus on sustainability and green practices: Local products are used for production, and organic byproducts from the brewing process are collected and stored on-site for reuse in farming operations and as an antifreeze ingredient in the Town of Spencer’s winter road maintenance program. Local farmers also use the spent grain as animal feed and compost, and the brewery plans to install solar panels on the roof soon.

The massive brewery has a capacity to brew 40,000 barrels a year, but the Trappists have begun brewing just twice a week for a total of 4,000 barrels per year, equivalent to 1.3 million bottles. The monks plan to increase annual production to 10,000 barrels in the next five years. Spencer Abby Ale is currently sold in 11.2-ounce bottles to distributors in Massachusetts.

BVH’s scope included HVAC system design with custom air handling units, process steam boiler, domestic water with well and storage tank, fire protection, office and lab area, and new electrical service and generator.

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Helping Address a Primary Care Shortage

The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that by 2020, our nation’s health care sector will face a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians. With the opening of its new Frank H. Netter MD Medical School, Quinnipiac University is responding to this reality facing an aging and growing population. With an explicit focus on primary care, the medical school is helping fill this current and growing void.

The project transformed a 150,000-square-foot office building on Quinnipiac’s North Haven graduate campus into a world class medical facility. The three-story building was designed to be used by students from across academic disciplines, including the School of Health Sciences and the School of Nursing. Quinnipiac’s medical students are thus part of a learning environment where they learn to become effective members of a primary health care team.

The medical school facility features:

  • 54-table Human Anatomy Lab
  • two operating rooms
  • a 300-seat auditorium – the largest on campus
  • two 150-seat lecture halls
  • a 100-person multipurpose room with a video feed from the 300-seat auditorium
  • single faculty offices
  • a clinical skills assessment complex
  • 16 examination rooms for students to interact with patient actors
  • six student medical school offices available 24 hours a day
  • a vending room
  • pathologist assistant labs
  • six large classrooms
  • an 80-body morgue
  • a conference room
  • various study areas

The project also upgraded the campus electrical infrastructure, including a 13.8kV loop distribution system and a new 1,250 kW generator and underground distribution system.  BVH’s mechanical scope included an expansion of the boiler plant; new cooling towers and condenser water pumps; underground condenser water distribution to the chiller plant; new custom air handling units and heat recovery systems; an atrium smoke exhaust system, and new medical gas systems.

The School of Medicine welcomed its first class in August 2013 and will have approximately 500 students when it reaches full capacity.

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A Dramatic Display of Sustainability

A Dramatic Display of Sustainability & Material Research

Amherst, Massachusetts

With an opening in January 2017, the Design Building exemplifies UMass Amherst’s commitment to sustainability and innovative design, and the value of integrating the architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and green building design programs into one facility.

The first and largest cross laminated timber (CLT) academic building in the United States, the Design Building houses classrooms and studios, computer labs, materials-testing, green-building and digital fabrication laboratories, a wood shop, and an outdoor working area. Collaborative spaces include a cafe, exhibit space, library and function spaces.

The project was designed to achieve the Governor’s Executive Order 484 mandated “MA LEED Plus” accreditation level and the University’s minimum LEED accreditation level of Gold, with a possibility of Platinum, together with a focus on minimizing energy use.

The building’s innovative design has garnered many awards and honors, including being named one of the best new buildings of 2017 by the Wall Street Journal and voted the 2017 World Architects U.S. Building of the Year. The project was also honored with an Award of Merit in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) list of New England’s 2017 Best Projects in the Higher Education / Research category and an Honor Award for Design Excellence by the Boston Society of Architects.

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