than conventional HVAC equipment. It serves
as a hands-on demonstration in the college’s
Students get hands-on experience with the
PV system, too. Hocking College arranged for
the system designer, Athens, Ohio-based Dovetail Solar and Wind, to supervise students in the
installation. The system is projected to generate 15 percent of the building’s electrical needs.
includes a compressor training facility, along with
stations for CNG refueling and EV charging.
A Co2 monitoring system prompts occupants
to open windows as needed to provide natural
Managing surface runoff
The Energy Institute’s sustainable features
extend to the site, as well. The grounds are
planted with native grasses that require no watering and that help manage rainwater runoff. In
fact, the facility has no gutters; instead rainwater shoots through gargoyle-shaped
scuppers “so people can see the water
and where it went,” said Hedge. The
runoff drains to bioswales and retention ponds.
DesignGroup’s plan to use permeable pavement for the entire parking
lot was out of the budgetary range.
Ultimately the project benefited from
a temporary run-up in oil prices that
caused concrete to be priced less —
and valued more in terms of LEED
rating — than asphalt. As a result, the
parking lot is all white concrete, reducing the heat island effect.
getting to net Zero
In its first year of operation, the
Energy Institute exceeded even the
aggressive modeling projection that it
would use 48 percent of a conventional building’s energy load, as measured
by cost. According to DesignGroup
Project Architect Keoni Fleming, it
actually used 34 percent.
In 2010, the PV system produced
18,030 kilowatt-hours, or 23 percent
of the building’s total electrical usage.
Fleming notes that the average higher-
education classroom building in the
United States has an energy use inten-
sity (EUI), measured in thousands of
Btu per square foot, of 120. The Energy
For Hedge, such performance makes him
wonder why every building can’t be built to the
same standard. The LEED Platinum goal helped
set objectives, he said, but “the real goal is to get
to net zero. What is the practical and affordable
way to do that?”
The answer, he asserted, is efficiency. Renew-
ables are an essential part of the solution, accord-
ing to Hedge, “but you’re not going to get there if
you don’t make the buildings more efficient.” ST
Designers used modeling to calculate just enough window
surface for daylighting with minimal heat loss/gain and
expense. Each classroom has a south clerestory window and
view glass on the north side.
Classrooms are daylit, reducing energy usage
and, as tests demonstrate, increasing student
throughout the building, with 21 geothermal
wells placed just outside adjacent to each unit.
That reduced the amount of piping from well to
heat pump, along with heat loss and cost. The
system is expected to use 30 percent less energy
Third Sun Solar Power, also of Athens, installed
a small solar thermal system. A collector area
of 15 square feet (1.4 square meters) covers all
of the facility’s limited hot water needs most of
the year. Later in the process, Hocking College
received funding for a 2.4-kilowatt wind gen-
erator to supplement the PV. It’s intended as a
demonstration, as the wind resource at the site