New green center built to further education

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 20:00

New construction projects are being introduced to urban and rural communities as more and more towns and agencies look to reduce operational expenses and meet sustainability initiatives. In Adrian Township, Michigan, a new educational center has been built that will act as the location for various research projects. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the center will be officially open on June 10, 2013. The $3.9 million facility features a greenhouse, pole barn, laboratories, research wings and meeting and educational rooms. According to the sites website, the Lenawee Intermediate School District Center for a Sustainable Future uses a 75-acre educational campus that will be providing students of all ages the opportunity to be hands-on with product and technology development. The main areas of focus of most of the research conducted at the center are sustainable agriculture and alternative energy production. As a result, the news source reports that a number of eco-friendly systems and materials were included in the design of the facility. LISD has been outfitted with free-standing photovoltaic solar panels, vegetative roof, insulating earth berm, geothermal wells and solar lighting tubes. The combination of these technologies and others like radiant floor heating have allowed the center's architects to decrease the operational expenses associated with the large structure. Because the facility has to house a number of different projects and act as double duty between laboratory and educational center, the size of the building was necessary. A radiant floor heating system that is powered with geothermal and solar energy allows the building to achieve a net-zero energy status. In the greenhouse, a radiant floor heating system was included because it was the only warming utility option that is both contained and effective at keeping the entire facility at an even temperature.