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“It is our hope that students who live with a daily focus on their environment will develop a leadership capacity that over

this planet.”

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—Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. ’57, Chairman and CEO of the Kohler Company

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↓ THE ROOFTOP SOLAR EVACUATED TUBES collect energy from the sun to heat water. This system meets most of the hot water needs of the KEC.

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lands are decreasing in Connecticut. Currently, most open space is used for agriculture, has been converted for suburban or commercial uses, or has undergone succession to become forested. The meadows at the KEC are managed to provide habitat for species of birds, small mammals, invertebrates, and plants.

influence to the way others treat

→ THE TOWER OVER THE LOBBY acts as a solar chimney by allowing hot air to exit the building from a high point while drawing cooler air into the building from low points at the corridor windows.

at Choate Rosemary Hall

GRASSLANDS AND WILDLIFE Meadows and grass-

generations will bring a substantial

The KEC supports several community outreach programs for elementary school-aged children. Participants explore the forests, fields, and streams on guided nature walks, and grow plants in the greenhouse and in a children’s garden. The KEC also holds events for the broader Choate and Wallingford communities.

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KOHLER ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER 211 EAST MAIN STREET WALLINGFORD, CT 06492

A U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum-certified academic and residential facility designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects. The Center is a gift from Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., Class of 1957.

The center is situated on 268 aces of mixed forest, wetlands, meadows, and agricultural fields. These diverse habitats are used for short- and long-term scientific research and provide inspiration for the interdisciplinary study of environmental science, literature, the social sciences, and the arts.

KOHLER ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

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Joseph M.V. Scanio

Program Director, Kohler Environmental Center jscanio@choate.edu

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Located east of Choate Rosemary Hall’s main campus in Wallingford, Connecticut, the Kohler Environmental Center (KEC) is home to the honors and interdisciplinary Environmental Immersion Program (EIP), a year-long residential academic experience.

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Welcome to the Kohler Environmental Center

↓ THE PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGE traverses a brook, which is fed by the wetlands on the property. Several seasonal and year-long streams run through the forested parts of this parcel of land. Students in the EIP study the biological diversity of organisms in these habitats. LED lights controlled by motion and photo sensors provide the illumination along this pathway.

↑ NATIVE PLANT GARDENS Students in the Ecology class study native plants and pollinators, observe leaf and flower phenology, and record pollinator visitation. These recorded data are part of our long-term ecological monitoring program and are also contributed to national Citizen Science programs.

← THE STONE USED FOR THE EXTERIOR WALLS

of the KEC came from a quarry in central Connecticut. Using materials from local sources minimizes shipping distances and therefore the amount of CO2 and pollutants released into the atmosphere. ↓ CISTERN AND BIOSWALES Rainwater from the

↓ THE WOOD SUN SHADES are examples of passive

greenhouse roof is collected in a cistern and used to water the exterior gardens. Runoff from the land around the building is processed by bioswales, which remove particulates and nutrients in order to protect the surrounding wetlands.

solar design. This feature prevents direct sunlight from shining into the building during the summer, minimizing the amount of cooling needed. In winter sunlight passes beneath the shades and heats the interior spaces.

Emphasizing the best of collaborative

learning, the KEC is the ultimate

I'm definitely more aware

working, living laboratory; it offers

of everything I do

endless possibilities for learning,

and the impact it has.

growth, and change. —Headmaster Alex D. Curtis

—Christina Cutrone ’13


10 Sustainable Features of the Kohler Environmental Center

↓ Academic Wing

↓ Community Wing

The academic wing includes two classrooms as well as three laboratory spaces (one for ecology, one for biology, and another for independent research). Students, faculty, and visiting scholars are well supported with equipment for field, greenhouse, and laboratory research.

The community wing includes a common space with an open kitchen and a seminar room. The common area is an inviting space for relaxation, conversation, and shared meals. Students make decisions about the types and sources of food they eat while taking into consideration the impact that their choices have on the environment. Students and faculty built a wooden compost bin in order to accommodate the daily input from the KEC kitchen as well as from the main dining hall salad bar. This compost is used to amend the soil in the Sustainable Food Project and the experimental production plots.

↑ SEMINAR ROOM The adjacent seminar room serves as a library and space for research presentations. It is also used for broader community events.

Residential Wing ↓

1 Energy and resource-efficient materials, including native stone and reclaimed wood, were used in the timber and fieldstone construction.

The residential wing consists of dormitory rooms for students, two faculty apartments, and a studio apartment for visiting experts in residence. Students and faculty use information from sensors to see how changes in behavior affect their resource use. Data on electricity use is collected for each student room and each apartment, and data on water use is recorded for each apartment and each dormitory bathroom.

2 A one acre, 296-kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic (solar) array provides 100% of the KEC's annual energy demand. 3 A touch screen monitor in the entranceway displays data on water and power use. Residents use this information to guide decisions about how to live in the KEC. 4 The closed-loop, ground-source heat pump (geothermal) system includes twenty-five, 450 foot deep vertical wells.

↑ Environmental Immersion Program

5 Cedar sunshades filter the southern exposure in summer while allowing winter sunlight in.

The honors and interdisciplinary program includes courses in Ecology, Literature and the Landscape, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Economics, Environmental Policy, Biology, Nature Photography, Interdisciplinary Research Methods, and an Independent Research Project. Extracurricular offerings include hiking and kayaking as well as participating in the KEC Sustainable Food Project.

6 A rooftop solar evacuated tube system provides hot water for residents. 7 Polished concrete floors in corridors and classrooms pick up solar gain in the winter from southern exposure for passive heating.

↓ Greenhouse

8 The interior uses Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood and tapped maple harvested from trees used to produce Vermont maple syrup.

The research greenhouse provides a computer-controlled environment in which students, faculty, and visiting scholars can conduct experiments. In addition, the space is used to support the Sustainable Food Project. Supplemental heat is supplied by burning biodiesel made from waste vegetable oil.

✼ “The KEC has taught me the value of acknowledging nature in all of

9 Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and spray foam insulation used in the building’s roof (R-value 50) and walls (R-value 44) minimize heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

its capacity, whether through active engagement in the outdoors or scholarly dedication

The KEC Sustainable Food Project is based in the southernmost field of the Center. In our gardens and orchard we employ methods used in organic agriculture and permaculture. The food produced in our gardens is used in the KEC kitchen. In addition to growing food, students in the EIP examine complex issues surrounding our current food system.

Univers 57 / 5 poi ts

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in the classroom.” —Courtney Pal ’14

↑ New England Landscape As is typical of the New England landscape, the secondary forests around you result from a history of multiple land uses. What makes this area valuable is its varied topography and the combination of wet and dry habitats. At the KEC, the forest is as much of a classroom as those found within the building. B

Kohler Environmental Center Z-Card