Be a Voltage Voyeur

The Woods Hole Ordway Campus is a remarkable example of sustainable green architecture for a lot of reasons, and in the two years since it was completed has won recognition and awards. It has a whole bag of tricks, from photovoltaics to ground source heat pumps to sophisticated controls.

Treehugger really likes one particular feature- you can go online and actually see what is happening to and in the building in real time. Is it buying electricity or selling it back to the grid? How much power from wind? How much from sun? Oops- someone turned on a lightswitch!

What a wonderful way to demonstrate to those unbelievers that building green really works and that it really pays. So often building ideas do not live up to expectations, but the Ordway Campus has. Although twice the size of the building it replaced, it is using less energy in total and is using only 13% of what a comparable building would have.

When we have watched the meters rolling, the center has been a net producer of electricity. In its first year, 34% of its total energy requirements were met through the PV system.

According to Joe Hackler, a research associate at the Center, "The 'public face' of the monitoring system is designed to encourage any one to come in and explore how energy flows through a building of advanced design such as this one."

::Woods Hole Research Center (click on Building Performance, left column) via ::PhysOrg by [LA]

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