The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut in the US has cut a six-figure sum from its winter energy bill by replacing its outdated oil-burning boiler with woodchip biomass ones.
Designed by Centerbrook Architects, the undulated green roofed building is situated at the bottom of a sloping landscape, blending beautifully with their own surrounding farm, golf course and marshes.
As well as being a great insulator and attracting plenty of wildlife, the luscious green roof structure collects and filters rainwater that is used for the garden and flushing the toilets.
Under its undulating top, a massive Biomass Power Plant produces clean energy from woodchips, an FSC wood byproduct that comes from the forests growing in the area.
This clean energy innovative facility has helped reducing the independent boarding school’s carbon footprint by about 40 %, while saving energy and money, substantially reducing its environmental impact.
The power plant provides heating for the school’s 600 residents and 85 buildings, replacing around 150,000 gallons of fuel oil per year, drastically cutting emissions.
Measuring 16,500-square-foot, the structure itself is primarily made from FSC wood and local timber, which creates a natural eco-friendly atmosphere for kids to grow and learn.
This exemplar project by Centerbrook Architects is only the third LEED-certified power facility in the US and has plans to go even further: it aims to become carbon-neutral by 2020.
Josh Han, assistant of school and director of environmental initiatives explain the school’s integral sustainable philosophy:
“Our goal for this project is to build upon a philosophy that further connects students to the natural resources they use daily. Our farm connects students to their food systems. We know that energy, and environmental issues in general will be front and center as our students enter their adult lives. This building, built as a classroom, will prepare them to make creative and intelligent choices in a world with ecological limits.”
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