Carbon Neutral McCall
This project is part of a $10,000 P3 grant recently awarded to the team by the Environmental Protection Agency. The 4th Annual P3 Awards are a national student design competition for sustainability focusing on “People, Prosperity and the Planet.” For the competition, faculty and students from both the College of Natural Resources (CNR) and the College of Art and Architecture are designing a carbon-neutral environmental learning center at the McCall Field Campus, home to McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS).
Like private industry, political activists, community leaders and individuals, the University of Idaho is also working hard to shape environmentally sustainable practices in places where we work and live. Industry professionals and staff from the Ponderosa Institute are also part of this project and are assisting students in developing and implementing a facilities plan for the carbon-neutral field campus.
“As Idaho’s only residential environmental learning center, the resulting facilities will be uniquely poised to showcase sustainability in a state that is expected to experience a 50 percent rise in population in the next three decades,” said Hollenhorst.
The impacts of this project will be significant, where each design element will be a learning opportunity. Sustainable design elements that will be included in this project will emphasize:
- Environmentally friendly concepts in energy efficient building and finish materials
- Intelligent space planning
- Energy efficient water treatment and site construction
“We want to enhance the current K-12 outdoor science school and graduate environmental education programs at MOSS so that they incorporate the teaching tools and lessons in sustainability learned from architecture and engineering," Hollenhorst explains.
The vision for this future facility is a year-round campus featuring a main center that includes a welcome area, bookstore, offices and administration; dining/large meeting room facility; educational studios and laboratories; equipment storage; residence facilities; and a central biofuel power plant.
Outreach to communities is another key objective. The center will offer environmental building design programs to industry and business professionals, community leaders and Idaho citizens. MOSS was selected for the pilot project because of its excellent reputation in graduate environmental education and K-12 outdoor science programs.
The faculty and students will bring their final concepts to Washington, D.C. in April 2008 for a design competition. Winning projects will be awarded an additional $75,000 for implementation.
“The facility will not be Spartan, but it will be rustic, high quality, in tune with the natural setting, and express a sense of place connected to McCall and the Central Idaho mountains,” said Lynne Westerfield, the MOSS community development coordinator, and coauthor of the grant proposal.
This project is led by Steven Hollenhorst, executive director of the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) and professor of conservation social sciences, and Bruce Haglund, professor of architecture. Students across multiple degree programs are working together to reduce carbon emissions and improve the ecological footprint of this facility.