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Energy Efficiency  -  August 19, 2019

Williams College opens 1st energy-efficient dorm

Williams College, in Williamstown, Mass., will open its first energy-efficient residence hall on campus when the fall semester begins. Garfield House, a 16,570 square-foot, $9.8 million solar-powered building will house as many as 40 students in a combination of single and double rooms.

A report from The Berkshire Eagle noted that Garfield House was originally built as a summer cottage in 1850 for a wealthy family. The building was razed last summer and rebuilt according to LEED Gold standards as a high-performance, wood-framed building using “Passive House” design criteria and philosophy, according to the college. The structure features a well-insulated airtight envelope, high-performance windows, and high-efficiency energy recovery system. The energy-efficient dorm also features roof insulation that is about 3 feet thick and triple-pane windows.

"From our perspective, it is the responsibility of higher education to lead, experiment with new techniques, and demonstrate best practices to other institutions and businesses," said Amy Johns, director of Williams College's Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives.


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