Increasingly, institutions of higher learning are working to position themselves at the leading edge of the green building movement, so it should come as no surprise that Unity College of Unity, Maine–which bills itself as “America’s Environmental College”–will be the first in the nation to feature a residence hall built to Passive House standards (should the project receive certification upon completion).
Village Soup reports that GO Logic Homes of Belfast, Maine (which specializes in energy-efficient building for cold climates) was recently awarded the contract to build this “cottage-style” residence hall based on the principles of passive house design, which makes use of super-tight insulation, passive solar orientation and other green building technologies to radically reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling. The project–which was funded through a grant from The Kendeda Fund–will involve Unity College students in the design, construction, and monitoring of the facility through both curricular and co-curricular activities.
“The direct involvement of college students in the design and construction of green student housing is a paradigm shift,” said Robert Constantine, Vice President for College Advancement at Unity College, in a statement. He goes on to note that Unity hopes to create a new model for how colleges and universities can approach not only how they construct campus buildings, but in how they conceive of them.
GO Logic will be working closely with the design firm of Ann Kearsley in creating the Student Passive House, the first of three 10-person residential halls to be built in phase and which are scheduled for completion by the start of the Fall 2011 semester.