Maine Academy of Natural Sciences

Historic architecture and sustainable design innovation converge to preserve and renew a campus treasure. The design for the new Maine Academy of Natural Sciences honors the circa 1905 structure, retaining much of the original character, while achieving “net positive” energy efficiency and creating a much-needed classroom addition. This forward-looking project accommodates robust projected enrollment growth while reflecting a deep commitment to environmental stewardship.

During the feasibility phase, Harriman assisted trustees in reaching a decision to reuse the underutilized campus asset rather than construct a new building to house the newly chartered Maine Academy of Natural Science (MeANS).

Project Overview


Maine Academy of Natural Sciences


Renovation/Historic Preservation


25,000 Square Feet

Key Contacts

Mark Lee, AIA, LEED AP
Will Gatchell, AIA


AIA Maine COTE Award for Historic Adaptive Reuse of a Commercial Institution

Designing for superior energy efficiency

Harriman used its skills in sustainable design to transform the empty historic building into a net-positive charter school building. This was accomplished by redesigning the building’s thermal envelope, roof and attic design, and improving natural ventilation. We also added LED lighting and controls, thermal efficient windows and glazing, and a modern HVAC system.

296 photovoltaic panels were installed on the roof to provide a sustainable energy harvesting source. The school uses approximately 77,000 kWh annually, leaving a “net positive” of 13,000 kWh of clean, renewable power. This power offsets energy needs of adjacent greenhouses and other facilities on campus.

  • The transformation of an historic building into an energy efficient hub of 21st century learning defined the challenge of this project.

We’d love to work on a project together.