Friday, December 2, 2011

Choate in a Greener Way

The next generation of greener living is at Choate Rosemary Hall. Next year, Choate will open the Kohler Environmental Center, a self-sustaining dormitory that will serve to teach students to live within their means. This is only possible after a generous $20 million gift from alumni Herbert V. Kohler, CEO of Kohler Co. This 31,324-square-foot structure includes labs, a common area, greenhouses, and 14 dorm rooms enough to house 15-20 students each year. These students will be chosen from the junior class, will be divided into teams, and will compete for the coveted Most Energy Efficient team!

The challenge lies they face is to have an environmental impact of net zero - that is, they can't consume more energy than the building produces. To their disposal, they have a 325-kilowatt photovoltaic array, a roof-mounted solar water-heating system, a geothemal heat pump, a water-recycling system, and waste vegetable oil receptacle. There is talk that Choate will install stationary bikes so students themselves can get in the race and generate their own power - see the video below.

The real goal of the Kohler Center is to not only give students a real-life experience about being energy efficient, but to spread the Center's virtues to the entire campus. The Center is truly one of a kind and is something we could be seeing in the future of -energy sufficient- public buildings.

Full Article in Fast Company

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