Sustainability and Environmental Studies

Ecovillage

Guided by intertwined educational, environmental, and social goals, the Ecovillage is an ecologically-sustainable residential and learning complex designed to meet housing needs for student families, childcare for campus children, and provide a living/labor opportunity for students interested in sustainability.

The Ecovillage is first and foremost about education. It is an example of learning by doing. Residents and children learn valuable lessons in environmentally responsible living through everyday activities and shared experiences. Other components of the Ecovillage provide educational opportunities for the entire campus and beyond.

The complex includes 50 apartments, a state-of-the-art Child Development Laboratory, a Commons House, a Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) demonstration house, and the SENS Aquaponics facility.

Rigorous performance goals for the Ecovillage include: reduction of energy use by 75%; reduction of per capita water use by 75%; treatment of sewage and wastewater on-site to swimmable quality, and recycling, reusing or composting at least 50% of waste. To accomplish these and other goals, the Ecovillage incorporates a wide range of “green design” elements including passive solar heating, and photovoltaic panels. Roof-top capture of rainwater contributes to landscape irrigation and production of fruits and vegetables.

Read more about the Ecovillage’s performance goals in the November 2005 issue of The Sustainable Campus newsletter (Acrobat Format).

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