The Hands-On Energy Classroom
The hocking College Energy Institute was designed to be a working lab. Students gain firsthand
experience with its ground-source heat pumps, a photovoltaic array, a small wind turbine, solar
water heating and stations for compressed natural gas refueling and electric vehicle recharging.
The LEED Platinum Hocking
College Energy Institute is a
teaching lab, offering students
direct access to advanced
In a state ripe for green-collar jobs, the Hock- ing College Energy Institute in Southeast Ohio offers a working lab where students can see, touch and demonstrate the latest renewable energy and efficiency technolo- gies. The technical college’s new LEED
Platinum building conveys modern ambitions
amid rolling Appalachian foothills. Through
entry doors wide enough to accommodate a car,
a multipurpose space of exposed infrastructure
and sealed concrete floors narrows to administrative offices and daylit classrooms.
“The whole idea was that the building needs
to teach the students, to be an example of what
they ought to be aspiring to,” said Jack Hedge,
project designer and chairman of Columbus-based DesignGroup. An AIA Fellow, longtime
member of the American Solar Energy Society
and board member of its Ohio chapter, Green
Energy Ohio, Hedge has been practicing sustainable design for nearly four decades.
“But also it was very open, so you could try
different things as these technologies evolve,”
Hedge continued. The building showcases pip-
Copyright © 2011 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
ing and pumps from the ground-source heat
pumps, a 21.2-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) array,
a small wind turbine, solar water heating and an
advanced vehicle area with stations for compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling and electric
vehicle (EV) recharging. Faculty and students
can access the mechanical systems directly and
move partitioning walls to reallocate space in the
Completed in September 2009 and LEED
certified in February, the 12,200-square-foot
(1,133-square-meter) facility received 56 out of
By GINA R. JOHNSON
Photos by JASON MEYER,
Gina R. Johnson (editor@solartoday) is the editor/
associate publisher at SOLAR TODA Y.