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College of the Atlantic opens wood fiber insulated building

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 4:26 PM EDT
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BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - The College of the Atlantic has been voted the greenest college in America five years in a row by the Princeton Review.

It’s based on integrating sustainability in the curriculum and focusing on food systems, waste reduction and recycling efforts.

College of the Atlantic readies to begin its 50th year educating students about the human impact on the planet, its also opening The Davis Center for Human Ecology, a new building that will become a hub for the school.

”Science labs, art studios, general lecture halls, faculty offices. It’s really going to become the academic home of COA,” said Darron Collins, College of the Atlantic president.

The Davis Center uses more than 350 solar panels to account for 80% of its energy budget, and is the largest building to be insulated by wood fiber in the United States.

“The builders are E.L. Shea, and they’ve done an amazing job. They’re based out of Ellsworth. And GEO Labs up in Madison, Maine has pioneered this process of building wood fiber insulation paneling. So this building will be a case study for the use of wood fiber insulation throughout the state and likely throughout the northeast,” Collins said.

The building was constructed without the use of steel, and the commitment to using as much wood product as possible is largely responsible for it being carbon negative- meaning it absorbs more carbon than it produces, making it one of the greenest and most efficient commercial buildings in the country, and a perfect fit for COA.

It is a super comfortable, well-designed, beautiful building, and it’s sustainable. It’s rare that those three things come together, but we really knocked it out of the park with the Center for Human Ecology,” Collins said.

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