Last week, Professor Sherman gave us our final lecture of the semester. He showed us several buildings which utilize many of the systems which we have learned about. One of the buildings I found interesting was the Center for Environmental Sciences building at Oberlin College and I decided to research it further.
Designed by William McDonough, along with student input, the building follows the principles of “eliminating waste, relying on natural flows, and honoring diversity.” The building utilizes natural forces such as daylighting, natural ventilation, and geothermal heating. It is also has its own waste treatment through a natural marsh. The building actually produces energy from its solar panels, which it puts back into the community’s grid.
The structure goes beyond sustainability within the energy flows. The space creates sustainable relationships with the rest of the college and the community, serving as a meeting space for town halls.