Last year, Centerbrook Architects finished a grand project that creates clean energy from local, sustainably harvested woodchips. Situated on the campus of a Connecticut private school, the Hotchkiss Biomass Power Plant produces enough energy to heat the entire building - and it's set beneath a beautiful green roof.
Located at the bottom of a sloping landscape, the building on the Hotchkiss school site sits in between a golf course and marshes. Thanks to its green roof, the structure collects and filters rainwater while merging beautifully with the landscape. The 16,500-square-foot building burns locally sourced wood chips—a byproduct of FSC forests—and provide heating for the school’s 600 residents and 85 buildings.
The biomass facility replaces around 150,000 gallons of fuel oil per year, drastically cutting the school’s emissions. The structure itself is primarily made from FSC wood, indigenous and glue-laminated timber, and forms a living classroom that can provide students with a ground in eco-friendly technologies.
The waste ash from the burning is used as vegetable fertilizer around the school, all contributing to the school’s plans to become carbon-neutral by 2020.
Photos by David Sundberg/Esto