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March 04, 2010
Experimental Forest is going GREEN
|The headquarters complex at the 16,000 acre Andrews Forest near Blue River will soon be showcasing new energy efficient building techniques.|
|Bob Ross photo|
MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- BLUE RIVER: Oregon State University has received a $348,000 grant to construct a new “GREEN House” at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest – an energy-efficient residential structure that will also serve as a working laboratory and educational outreach facility.
With support from the National Science Foundation, the building will house an expanding community of scientists, writers and educators who work at this experimental forest near Blue River, Ore. Besides being constructed with energy-efficient design, local materials and operated with renewable energy, the facility will have imbedded sensors to monitor such things as its energy usage, air quality and carbon footprint.
The project is titled “Green Research and Education for Ecological Networks,” or GREEN House.
“Students, scientists and local businesses will participate in the design and building construction, and its performance will be compared to existing residential and laboratory buildings,” said Mark Schulze, OSU director of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. “Comparative data will be incorporated into research and teaching modules, and students, researchers and the public can study the house and its environment from many perspectives.”
“Scientists, writers and educators who stay there will help us explore human-environment connections, and be a part of a multifaceted education program,” said Schulze. “It will be a showcase of building options and alternatives.”
Sherri Johnson, lead scientist of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest with the USDA Forest Service, said that, “the facility is needed because of expanding use of this experimental forest, not only by scientists but also writers and other scholars.” The new structure will increase housing capacity while providing a way to study links between the built and natural landscape, she said, and could become a model for sustainable building technology in rural areas.
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