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Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

a. Electricity b. Compost c. Gray Water 4. Workshops 5. Garden/Landscape

1. Administrative 2. Ecohouse Seminar 3. House Features

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Welcome to the OHIO Ecohouse!

Dear OHIO Ecohouse Residents, Congratulations on being selected to live in the OHIO Ecohouse this year. You are joining a small but diverse group of OU students who have benefited from this sustainable living and learning experience. Your role as a resident is an important tool in our effort to better educate the campus and community about the importance of incorporating sustainability into every aspect of our lives. This experience will be as robust as you make it. As long as you take the initiative to explore the many opportunities made available to you, your year as a resident of the Ecohouse will serve you well in your future. You will develop strong leadership skills, improve your communication skills, explore professional development opportunities, better prepare yourself for a job search and gain valuable skills and memories that will last throughout your adult life. My role as the advisor of this program makes me more than a landlord. I will serve as a mentor through the Ecohouse seminar you will each register for, a peer in our collaborative exploration of sustainable living habits, a support system as you navigate this experience and, hopefully, a reference as you advance into future job and leadership opportunities. While the Office of Sustainability will work to support you in a variety of ways, please keep in mind that certain small repairs or purchases will be treated much in the same way as any rental unit (i.e.: you are responsible for cleaning, repairs to damages you cause, general everyday maintenance and care of the interior and exterior of the house). We will provide you with support in the following ways: - Professional Development: We have a student position in the Office of Sustainability (“Professional Development Coordinator”) who you are able to work with to fine projects to fit into your “projects” requirement of your role as a resident. You may also work with this individual to assist you with resume building, email signatures, workshop hosting/attendance, etc. You will work with this individual to determine if OoS can assist with financially supporting and project ideas you wish to pursue. - Tour Payment: You have the option to either allow tours to serve as your project hours or to be paid separately for them. Tours will not take up 20 hours in a semester, so you must also create other project ideas. If you wish to be paid for your efforts as a

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  


tour guide, you must undergo a training from OoS and submit all necessary paperwork to HR. Maintenance: If the house is ever in need of maintenance, contact the Director of Sustainability and she will submit a work order for repairs. If it is an emergency repair, follow the emergency protocol provided in this binder.

I genuinely want this to be a positive experience for all of you. Please take advantage of the many opportunities that will be made available to you during your time as a resident of the Ecohouse!

***Annie Laurie Cadmus Director of Sustainability Ohio University 740-593-0026

General Office of Sustainability & Ecohouse information: Access and Inclusion: We are dedicated to offering all students fair access to sustainability resources and involvement. In your conversations with other students, please always be sensitive to their unique needs and alert the Director of Sustainability if any of our programs are not able to accommodate any needs. Such access and inclusion concerns also apply to our office’s volunteers, interns and staff. Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Director of Sustainability privately to discuss specific needs. The student should be able to provide written documentation from the Office of Disability Services. Any student not yet registered as a student with a disability can do so by contacting the Office of Disability Services at 740-593-2620 or by visiting the office in 348 Baker University Center. Defining Sustainability Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of today’s society without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. That means we must appropriately utilize

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

resources and advance our own knowledge in all disciplines in order to contribute to the success of future generations. At Ohio University, we look at Sustainability through the lens of the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet and Prosperity. - People: We believe in personal sustainability…we must manage our own health and well-being so we may care for others within our community. We must invest in community growth. - Planet: We encourage the conservation, preservation and restoration of our Earths precious natural resources. - Prosperity: A thriving local economy is paramount in our efforts to achieve true sustainable development.

What the Office of Sustainability Does Mission: Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability provides services and support to the campus community; advocates for innovation and research; and ensures fulfillment of institutional commitments to environmental, social and economic well-being. Our office works to provide the campus community with the support they need to implement sustainability in their respective units on campus. We collect and report on our progress toward sustainable development. We offer professional development opportunities to students interested in infusing sustainability into their academic and professional careers.Professional Development: -­‐

Anyone who works (paid or unpaid) in the Office of Sustainability is asked to spend time on Professional Development.


For your convenience, we do have a Professional Development Coordinator Intern who is responsible for ensuring that you are supported in your efforts.



Samples of professional development projects can include, but are not limited to: o

Online portfolio/blog


Resume building


Conference attendance


Workshop hosting


Webinar attendance

It is our goal to assist students with job attainment upon graduating from OU. Please utilize the resources in the office whenever necessary.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   -­‐

Upon graduating, all former office staff members will be asked to complete an Exit Survey so we can continually improve our professional development efforts.

Personal Sustainability: It is important to establish clear boundaries in your development of a work/life/school balance. We will talk frequently of the important role “Personal Sustainability” plays in our lives. You are encouraged to explore this conversation deeply throughout the year. Here are some quick pointers that you may or may not appreciate: -­‐

Create email filters for certain emails. For example, if your place of employment regularly uses your personal email address, create a filter so those emails are sent to a folder that you check at designated times. This way, when you’re working on personal or academic items, work does not distract you.


If you have a one-on-one or small group meeting scheduled, consider hosting the meeting outside. Take a walk or sit in the grass….get some fresh air!


Create outdoor workspace where you’re able to easily complete school or personal work outdoors without being distracted. (Of course, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional break to climb a good lookin’ tree!)


If you know you have a really busy week coming up, consider being flexible with your Ecohouse hours. Work with the other residents and the Director of Sustainability to see if you can rearrange Ecohouse seminar dates (since we will have several weeks that we don’t meet – those can be rearranged!).


Constantly reassess! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, figure out what is causing the stress and try to renegotiate your priorities that week. Can OoS assist in any way? You should love what you do and the Ecohouse should not be a source of stress or resentment.


Work in the Ecohouse Garden – If you’re feeling particularly stressed or uninterested in your work, consider doing some yard work or garden work…it’s surprisingly therapeutic to pull weeds!


Sustainability is a truly interdisciplinary topic. If there are ever any activities or practices that you haven’t participated in but would like to, consider exploring them for your professional development hours. This experience should be about personal growth!

Communications Protocol: The following Communications Protocol is relevant to any communication that occurs on behalf of the Office of Sustainability. All staff, interns and Ecohouse residents must be aware of this protocol and follow it carefully.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   With a great deal of turn-over in the office, it is imperative that the Director of Sustainability is included in any communication intentions external to our office. If any OoS staff wishes to set-up an interview with a specific individual, please follow the following procedures: -­‐


Send an email to outlining: o

Individual you wish to interview


Purpose of article


List of no more than 5 questions that will be asked


Preference of Phone, email or in-person interview

Requests for interviews must be made at least 2 weeks in advance of desired interview date.

OU staff and faculty receive a LOT of requests for interviews, so we have to be careful not to inundate others with lengthy questions. ANY time an OoS staff/intern wants to represent OoS and connect with someone outside of the office, they must go through the Director of Sustainability first so she knows what type of communication is happening on behalf of this office. Remember: Routes (or any communication done by OoS student staff/interns) is not investigative reporting. Our student positions are responsible for managing the sustainability profile of the campus by: 1.) providing updates on positive efforts being made toward progress within the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan, 2.) providing students with an outlet for getting involved, 3.) providing the Director of Sustainability with suggestions for future sustainable efforts that could happen on campus. So, detailed, probing questions should not be necessary for any interview conducted on behalf of the OoS. Important Websites: Yammer: -­‐

All staff and interns are required to sign-up for Yammer. Ecohouse residents are welcome to participate in Yammer, as well, if you wish to keep up-to-date with what we’re doing in the office. Staff members are expected to log-in to Yammer and post something at least once per shift, so there’s always something happening!.


Navigate to and sign up for Yammer using your OHIO email address.


When setting up your profile, request to join the Office of Sustainability group.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   -­‐

Play around! Learn important features of Yammer since this is how our staff will communicate: o

OHIO network versus OoS Network


Various features for posting


File Sharing


Posting Praise/Questions/Polls/Comments

Office of Sustainability Website: -­‐

All members of the staff and Ecohouse residents should be familiar with the website and its contents. o

Please pay special attention to the Sustainability Plan and the Climate Action Plan

Facebook: -­‐

All members of the staff and Ecohouse residents are invited and encouraged to “like” the Office of Sustainability facebook page.


If you have any items that you’d like us to feature on the facebook page, please email them to the Social Media Coordinator.

Gmail Calendar: -­‐

All Ecohouse residents are required to assist with tours. As such, we need to know your availability for tours. Please log-in to our staff calendar on gmail using the following log-in:



Log-in: SustainableOU


Password: s0larw1nd

The details regarding how to utilize that calendar are available in the Sunday entry of each month. o

The requirements for Ecohouse residents are slightly different… §

Create a calendar with your name as explained in the protocol. Instead of noting a shift (as our staff would do), merely note times that you would be free to give a tour (example: If you’re usually free on Fridays from 8am-10am, create a recurring event that always occurs at that time and name it, “FirstName LastName-Free for Ecohouse Tours”). This way, if we get a request at that time, we can simply call you up and see if you’d be willing to take the tour.


Also, on a regularly basis, scroll through the next month on the calendar and look for Tours (light blue calendar label) that are named as “NEED GUIDE” – if you’re free at that time, email our Tour and Presentations Coordinator to take that shift.


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Emergency ONLY  Numbers:   FIRE  or  OTHER  EMERGENCY:  911   OU  Police  Department,  Emergency:  740-­‐593-­‐1911   Annie  Laurie  Cadmus,  Cell:  815-­‐238-­‐2473     For  a  recorded  message  outlining  existing  OU  Emergency  situations:    740-­‐597-­‐1800     Information  regarding  OU  Emergency  procedures:      

Non-­‐Emergency Numbers:   Ohio  University  Facilities  Dispatch:  740-­‐593-­‐2911   Athens  Police  Department,  Non-­‐Emergency:  740-­‐592-­‐3315   Office  of  Sustainability,  Student  Office:  740-­‐593-­‐0460   Office  of  Sustainability,  Annie  Laurie  Cadmus:  740-­‐593-­‐0026   Environmental  Health  and  Safety:  740-­‐593-­‐1666   Tracy  Crabtree,  Residential/Off-­‐Campus  Housing:  740-­‐597-­‐2571    

Emergency Protocol:   -­‐

For all  emergency  situations,  please  first  call  911.    If  time  permits,  please  also  immediately   call  Annie  Laurie’s  cell  phone.    If  time  during  the  crisis  does  not  allow  for  a  call  to  Annie   Laurie,  please  be  sure  to  contact  her  when  the  situation  allows.  


For non-­‐emergency  concerns  that  require  immediate  attention  (such  as  fallen  tree  limbs,   electricity  outage,  flooding,  roof  leaks,  etc.),  please  first  call  Ohio  University  Facilities   Dispatch.       o

If the  situation  is  deemed  unsafe  for  living,  please  call  Annie  Laurie’s  cell  phone  so   she  can  make  alternate  living  arrangements  while  the  situation  is  being  managed.     Or,  if  the  situation  is  resolved,  please  call  her  office  number  to  notify  her  of  the  issue   so  she  may  ensure  that  the  proper  account  is  charged  for  repairs.  


For minor  maintenance  issues  (i.e.,  cracked  rain  barrel,  garden  damage,  etc.),  please  wait  to   submit  repair  needs  during  your  weekly  Ecohouse  session  or  by  sending  an  email  to      

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    

To log into workforce, follow the steps below:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Go to Click on Payroll Scroll down and click workforce login Sign in using your OAK ID and Password Log your hours worked accordingly At the end of the pay period, click submit hours worked Your hours will be sent to Annie Laurie for approval

To access direct deposit pay slip: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Go to Click on Current Students on the side panel Go to “my Ohio” Scroll down to “My Personal Information” On the right hand sign click the log in link Enter OAK ID and Password Click on pay slip


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Ohio  University   Office  of  Sustainability    

Tour Training (Present) Last Updated: 8/16/12

All Office of Sustainability staff are expected to be able to facilitate the full Sustainability Tour as outlined here. •

The full Sustainability Tour is a three-part tour: Class II Compost Facility, The Ridges and OHIO Ecohouse.

Anyone (faculty, staff, student, community member, outside entity) can request a tour, as long as there are a minimum of 8 participants (and a maximum of 25). To request a tour, they must complete the Tour Request Form and email to

• •

Participants are permitted to take photos. If any questions are asked that cannot be answered, please take note of the questions and tell the participants that the answers will be emailed to the individual that scheduled the tour. Then, email your questions to along with the name and email address of the individual to send the response.

Accessibility: This tour requires a great deal of walking (and light hiking). At the start of the tour, assess the mobility of the group. Does anyone have a difficult time walking? If so, those individuals may drive to the compost site and to the Ecohouse – they may want to opt out of The Ridges nature walk.

Office of Sustainability does NOT provide transportation to tour participants. It is their responsibility to get to the site on time. Our tour guides will meet them on site and leave directly following the tour.

All Tours will be scheduled using the Tour/Presentations calendar in gmail. ALL Office staff are responsible for checking this calendar during every shift.

All office staff are required to provide the Tour and Presentation Coordinator with their availability for tours or presentations so as to streamline the tour process.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Compost: Location: The Class II Compost Facility is located on Dairy Lane, just west of the Dairy Barn. If using GPS or Google Maps, the following address will work: 7876 Blackburn Road, Athens, OH. Parking: A parking lot is located on site upon entering the driveway to the facility. All cars must park at the bottom of the hill and walk to the facility – unless there are any mobility concerns (those individuals may drive up to the facility). Parking is free for the duration of the tour but must be removed from the lot upon completion of the tour. Note: If you have anyone with mobility restrictions in your group, have then drive to the top of the hill and, instead do this section at the site of the facility. While still in the parking lot: -­‐

Introduce yourself (name, year in school, major, position in the Office of Sustainability). Thank them for joining you on a tour today.


Define sustainability. Sustainability is the ability to use resources today in a manner that does not negatively impact future generations’ ability to utilize resources. Or, at least, that’s the textbook definition. To take it one step further, OU’s Office of Sustainability looks at sustainability through the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profit. People: We believe in the power of personal health and wellness and in the importance of contributing to the vitality of our communities. Planet: We’re concerned about the responsible management, conservation and preservation of our earth’s natural resources. And, Profit: A strong local economy is a key aspect of a truly sustainable community…We need to invest in economic development and proper utilization of the resources at hand so as to allow us to grow in a healthy manner.


Define composting. Ask if anyone is familiar with composting – does anyone compost at home? Composting is the natural decomposition of organic materials into a nutrient rich soil. Organic materials can include things such as food scraps, leaves and landscape waste. The key is to get an even ratio of carbon to nitrogen. Then, allow the waste to heat and aerate and natural decay will occur, turning your food waste into valuable fertilizer.

As you walk the gravel road up to the facility:

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  


This road was an old farm road which had to be improved in 2009 when truck traffic was going to start coming through. It is now made of reclaimed asphalt from demolished parking lots at OU.

Top of the Hill: -­‐ -­‐

Stop at the top of the hill (at the fork in the road) before you get to the facility. The site is located on land that we now call The Ridges which used to be a part of the State Psychiatric Hospital. The facility that sits on this land was originally called the Athens Lunatic Asylum. Since it has undergone so many name changes (9 different names!), we’ll call it The Ridges for the remainder of this tour for the sake of clarity.


The Ridges has received plenty of local and national attention for its unique history. The Office of Sustainability is particularly interested in this history due to its unique connection to sustainability.


There are approximately 700 acres at The Ridges. We’ll only cover a small portion of that today.


Facilitate Questions: If appropriate, talk to the participants about their relationship to food. Issues that come up in their own lives would be appropriate. People may mention that they eat “bad” or lots of processed foods. They may say they don’t eat fruits and vegetables or they grow a garden or shop at farmers market. How do they dispose of food? Does their kitchen trash can get stinky? o When you can, tie their responses back to ecology (see “Phrases and Concepts” section).

Walk toward Composter, stand near collection bins: -­‐

Ohio University currently produces Class II Compost (food and landscape waste) and Class IV Compost (landscape).


Collection: o Food is currently collected from Central Foods Facility and dining halls. Both pre- and post- consumer waste is collected. Though, it should be noted that our kitchen preparation process is incredibly streamlined, so a significant portion of the weight collected comes from post-consumer waste. § This is one area that our office is currently working to rectify through behavior change programming. o With the previous system, we were only able to collect approximately 40% of the food waste generated on campus. The expansion project will allow us

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

to capture 100% of our organic waste on campus. There are conversations with the city to potentially capture some of their landscape waste, as well. o The food is collected from each of the sites from these green collection bins, wheeled onto the loading dock and picked up daily by our compost staff. o We do not use plastic liners in the bins. Many other colleges that compost do use compostable liners. We save the resources and money by not using the liners and, instead, using a high pressure wash of rainwater in the bins… Walk to the rainwater harvesting system: -­‐

This is a rainwater harvesting system. While we do have plumbing up on this site, we use rain water instead of municipal water for the use of the facility. Rain is collected through gutters on the roof and then funneled into the cistern at each building. The biofilter is located here in the box that you can see, that filters the water. Then, it is collected and stored in two large containers buried under the ground. The two cisterns are connected underground.


Water is a limited natural resource. What water conservation efforts do you do at home? What ideas do you have for additional water conservation efforts at OU?


We’ll talk more about the process of cleaning the bins when we get inside the building and I can show you the process.

Walk into the new pole barn. -­‐ -­‐

Point out the bin washing station. When you walk in the pole barn you can have people look around and see what seems “sustainable” about the site. They might notice the windows to provide day lighting, the insulation, and the boxes on the wall (invertors). The boxes on the wall are invertors; they show how much energy is being generated by the solar arrays at the moment. They also convert AC power to DC power. Some people who have solar at their house will try to buy AC appliances so that they don’t have to lose some power in conversion. But most electric outlets provide DC current and that’s what we use at the site.


In 2009, Ohio University became the university with the largest in-vessel compost facility in the nation thanks, in great part, to a $350,000 grant from Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that allowed the institution to purchase a 2 ton in-vessel composting system from Wright Environmental Management Inc. (a Canadian company). o We received an additional $35,105 for the solar array from the Department of Development's Energy Loan Fund grant program.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

o The remaining funding was provided through the operational budgets of two Ohio University departments: Facilities Management and Auxiliaries. -­‐

The original system (Wright Environmental Management, Inc. WEMI-4000) that was installed in 2009 cost $355,370.00. However, the total start-up costs associated with the project were more than twice that, or about $800,000.00. Some of the costs included a road upgrade, a cement pad, and a heated pole barn. The total cost also included bringing utilities to the site, creating a leach field, installing a 10 kWh solar array and installing a rainwater harvesting system.


The facility was expanded in 2012 thanks to an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant in the amount of $1,088,571. The expansion included the addition of: a 4-ton expandable in-vessel system (WEMI-8000EX), enabling the university to compost 100% of its pre- and post-consumer dining waste; a 31.1 kilowatt solar array to completely power the current site and expansion; a 1.4 gallon solar thermal water heating system to improve the ability of workers to clean the collection bins with harvested rainwater; a windrow turner; and a waste-oil burner to heat the pole barn. o The ARRA funds do not encompass all of the costs for this project. Ohio University has committed to $579,646 of matching funds for successful implementation of the compost expansion.


The In-Vessel Composting Machine: Ohio University elected to employ this type of in-vessel composting system for management of all its food waste for several reasons: the system features a highly efficient contained system, which has the capacity to manage all forms of organic waste (including meat, dairy, biodegradable service-ware and landscape waste); it speeds the processing of waste into usable soil; it controls odors, vectors and leachates; and minimizes staff time needed for operation. The tunnel optimizes the natural composting process by controlling airflow, moisture levels and temperatures thereby accelerating the decomposition cycle of organic wastes. Composting material is moved in a plug flow fashion through the tunnel in the designated number of retention days. Material is supported on a series of stainless steel perforated trays that form the tunnel floor. The trays are pushed forward as a continuous unit by an external hydraulic ram. When the ram is moving an empty tray into the tunnel, all trays within the tunnel are moving forward. As an empty tray is being inserted, compost from a single tray is being unloaded at the tunnel discharge end using a series of vertical breaker bars and a discharge auger. The auger discharges the compost from the unloading tray onto a conveyor and the empty tray emerges from the tunnel ready for inspection and re-use. Surges of waste quantities or changes in composition can be

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

accommodated by inserting and filling more trays than the number required on a typical loading day. The tunnel is controlled for air supply and temperature using dedicated control proves, supply and exhaust fan and an air circulation system with associated air plenums. Composting material then moves through a set of spinners that act to invert, homogenize, agitate and stack the material into the next zone. Water is added during material cross-mixing (if needed) to re-establish proper moisture levels. Material remains in the second zone for an addition number of days equivalent to the retention time in Zone 1 (e.g. 7 days in Zone 1 and 7 days in Zone 2 equals 14 retention days) while significant stabilization occurs through control of air supply, water and temperature. The tunnel is equipped with a series of probes that monitor temperatures. These temperatures, in relation to control panel set points, are used to operate supply fans. The optimum temperature range for composting organic waste is 50 degrees Celsius to 65 degrees Celsius. The temperature set point in the first composting zone is typically set between 58 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius for greater than three days to ensure pathogen reduction. A set point between 52 degrees Celsius and 54 degrees Celsius is used in the second zone to maximize conversion of putrescible materials. Any moisture that drains out of the composting material flows into the plenums that run along the base of the tunnel and from the plenums to sump boxes through pipes located at the sides of the tunnel. Leachate is pumped back onto the composting materials from the sump boxes through pipes located at each sump box. Some leachate is released to the on-site septic system when the overall water balance is positive inside the machine. The organic waste is combined with bulking agents (wood chips from landscape waste are commonly used) and then processed in the in-vessel system for approximately 14 days. -­‐

Note: The new facility has an electronic weighing station and conveyor belt to increase worker safety/facility efficiency.


You can let the group walk up to the top of the system to see where the material is loaded. After the arms turn the material around a few times the bottom is dropped out and the material falls onto one of the trays below. OU added the splash guard, the railing, the safety chain, and the controls up top.


The University has spent several years testing out a variety of biodegradable/compostable service-ware (plates, cups, forks, etc.). It was discovered that certain products, particularly potato starch-based, do not break down quickly enough to be used with our system. We have had recent success in PLA (polylactic acid) service-ware. During our transition from a 2-ton daily load to 6+-ton daily loads, the use of service-ware as a bulking agent slowed. Once our new system is

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

running (Fall 2012), we are hopeful that we can reintroduce service-ware as a primary bulking agent in the compost recipe. o Note: Details regarding the “compost recipe” are not provided here since it can be a temperamental process depending on individual batches of organic matter, among other things. This is a learning process that can only be mastered by experiencing it first-hand. Typically, we strive for 60% food waste and 40% bulking agents. -­‐

The compost staff was trained by Wright Environmental following the installation of each facility. o Additionally, various other staff members at the institution have completed trainings for successful operation of the facilities. o Currently, waste pick-up and management is handled by one full-time staff member and approximately 5 part-time student staff members. It is anticipated that staffing will increase in FY 12.

Temperature Gauge: -­‐

When you come back down the machine you can see a temperature gauge. By providing insulation the machine helps control temperature, but it does not heat or cool the material. The temperature of the material is a result of the heat created as the material breaks down. Highlighted in yellow is the ideal zone that the system should be in for optimal break down.

Walk to the rear of the machine (outside portion): -­‐

Explain the process of the waste being pushed out the end of the machine and then placed in windrows on site.

-­‐ -­‐

Once removed from the system, the compost needs to cure for at least 90 days. Point out the windrows and the windrow turner - The windrows are turned regularly to offer a more homogenous mix to the compost. The 2012 expansion project included the purchase of a Windrow Turner which is expected to streamline this turning process.


The resulting nutrient-rich soil is used on-campus (intramural athletic fields, gardens used by Plant Biology students, Ecohouse community garden, etc.).

Walk to the solar Panels: -­‐

The original compost facility had a 10kw solar array and the new system features an additional 30.1 kw. We are still in our first year of the expanded program, so we can’t offer hard data on this, but we’re anticipating that we’ll be generating 100% of

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

our usage. Both systems are grid-tied. “Grid tied” means that we sell our generated electricity back to the power company. You can also set-up systems that have battery packs and the energy is stored (we do not do that). And, then there’s also the option to remain off-grid where you are dependent upon battery packs and use a different type of converter. What are the pros and cons to each of these options? o Possible Answers: § Battery packs are often times inefficient and the batteries contain harmful materials (and need to be replaced frequently). § Grid-tied systems allow you to utilize electricity from the grid should you need more electricity than you produce. § Back-up battery on a grid-tied system requires more maintenance and §

has more start-up costs, but can provide comfort in emergencies. Off-grid systems are not dependent upon local power and less vulnerable to black-outs.


The solar panels are on a Manual Tilt. Twice annually, we tilt the panels to maximize their efficiencies.


Point out the Solar Thermal panels: Those panels may look like regular Photovoltaic Arrays, but they’re actually part of a solar thermal system. These panels use a glycol solution to heat the water used to clean the bins. We’ll explain solar thermal more in-depth at the Ecohouse because we can get closer to the panels and it will make more sense.

Walk to the opposite side of the Pole Barn: -­‐ -­‐

Point out the stormwater management site. We worked closely with EPA to develop an acceptable stormwater management plan for this facility. The first thing is to note that leachate (excess fluid) from the machine is funneled from the machine to a bioswale that naturally filters the fluid. It is then piped to this retention pond that has been carefully dug to offer an even flow of excess water (in the case of heavy rains) into bioswales.


Why is stormwater management an important feature to a facility like this? o Possible answers: § The leachate contains toxins (from the food) that could contaminate local waterways. § Oil/grease from foods and from vehicles will naturally occur in runoff, so it needs to be cleaned before it comes in contact with our water supply.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Closing: -­‐

While composting is an excellent way to divert waste from the landfill, Ohio University is also excited to be able to use this project as a way to promote student engagement and academic programs while improving the efficacy and sustainability of our program. The opportunities for research studies and programming surrounding soil analysis, PLA testing, sociological impacts, behavior change, etc. is at the heart of what we hope to offer. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Sustainability with research requests as they relate to the Compost Facility.


Talk about how our goal is not to maximize compost, but to minimize food waste. You want your food waste to be zero. You want to put the compost system operation out of business. You may also talk about how Ohio U’s food waste per person was twice that of students at other institutions who did food waste audits. Why might that be the case? What can individuals do to change that statistic?

If continuing to The Ridges: Next we’ll take a small hike through The Ridges and talk about Sustainability and its relationship to community and history.

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The Ridges: Location: The Ridges is situated between Route 682 and Dairy Lane in Athens, OH. Both of the previous tour sites are located on The Ridges. Parking: If this is the first or only portion of the tour, participants may park in metered parking. For an accessibility map of The Ridges, view:

Introduction: Begin the tour at the crest of the hill at the compost facility. (This section is also included at the start of the compost tour, so you may omit it if you already said this part) -­‐

The site is located on land that we now call The Ridges which used to be a part of the State Psychiatric Hospital. The facility that sits on this land was originally called the Athens Lunatic Asylum. Since it has undergone so many name changes (9 different names!), we’ll call it The Ridges for the remainder of this tour for the sake of clarity.


The Ridges has received plenty of local and national attention for its unique history. The Office of Sustainability is particularly interested in this history due to its unique connection to sustainability.


There are 668 acres attached to The Ridges. We’ll only cover a small portion of that today.

Begin Walking toward trail: -­‐

It started as a psychiatric facility in 1874 and functioned as such until 1991 when it was shut down. It transitioned to university-owned property in 1988, leasing the space in the overlap.


The land around the compost site was orchards or was farmed, and the dairy barn we passed on the way to the site provided the dairy for the Hospital. It was almost self-sufficient, as the patients were the workers, providing their own food. Eventually it was ruled inhumane for patients to work the land or in the dairy barn and then the operations began to fall apart. The brick for the buildings was mined and fired on these grounds. All of their needed services, such as barbers and doctors, had space on site in the lower levels of the buildings. So, this is its own little sustainability project. When the hospital shut down it was gifted to the University for a fee of $1.

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The reasoning behind the beautiful landscape as the setting for this facility suggested a strong connection to the environment. Mental Health Professionals felt that the serene beauty of this space would naturally improve the health of some patients. This is a belief that we still hold onto today. Many of us find great peace and relief in the silence and beauty of nature. In fact, the Office of Sustainability works very hard to focus on something we call Personal Sustainability. We believe that strengthening our own mental and physical health is the very first step toward achieving true sustainable development of our communities, economy and environment.

When you reach the first cemetery: -­‐

A number of cemeteries were developed on the grounds of The Ridges to serve as the final resting place for any bodies that were unclaimed by their families.


The earliest headstones were numbered, rather than provide specific information about the deceased. In 1943, they began adding names and dates – but, still on a stone that eroded quickly. Any newer headstones were provided by families who, in more recent years, were able to trace their relatives’ locations and offer them a newer headstone.


Burials at this time were much more environmentally-friendly than more contemporary burials. Bodies were not embalmed, were wrapped in a light cloth and placed in a simple, unfinished coffin. All of these practices allow decomposition to occur more naturally, faster and with fewer toxins present in the soil.


Sadly, due to budgetary restraints, many of the headstones entered a state of disrepair and, in turn, many rumors regarding the haunted activity of The Ridges has become one of OU’s biggest mysteries.


Superstitions aside, we in the Office of Sustainability feel deeply connected to this space. Our contemporary beliefs regarding personal well-being are grounded deeply in the history of the Mental Health Professions. We are now told that regular exercise, exposure to nature, meditation and stress-relief are essential if we wish to be responsible stewards of our space.


The land on this site has always been manipulated by humans, and like the rest of SE Ohio, anything here is second growth.

As you walk toward the clearing: -­‐

Deer and turkey frequent the open areas we can see from here. Bobcat, first sighted in 2004, may be responsible for the piles of turkey feathers sometimes found here and elsewhere on the walk. Open areas such as that at the base of the hill and in all

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the cemeteries are ideal feeding grounds for bluebirds attracted by the dozen nesting boxes erected for them in these areas. At clearing: -­‐ -­‐

Have the participants sit in a circle. Ask them to close their eyes. Read the following script: I have spoken, on several accounts, of the importance of personal sustainability and generating connections with nature. In our busy lives as college students, parents, siblings, friends (insert any other nouns here), we are rarely presented with interruption-free time to reconnect with our own thoughts and values. We are constantly plugged in, literally – we’re connected to electronic devices and are limiting our own creativity by stifling free, uninterrupted thought. Keeping your eyes closed, I want you to think about one thing you’ve done this week that required an electronic device. (pause) Now, I want you to think about one thing you’ve done this week that required the absence of electronic devices, or machines. (pause) Which activity caused you more stress? Why do you think that is? Take a minute to think about your own life and the stresses you encounter…what can you do to remove those stresses? (long pause). Now I want you to open your eyes. Thank you. Based on all we’ve already already discussed today, can anyone talk about their own personal impacts on sustainability? (long pause, allow them time to think…if no one answers, then offer a story of your own). Thank you for your thoughtful reflection. We have another ¼ mile to the Ecohouse, where we will talk about sustainable living. On that walk, I want us to really take advantage of the opportunity to be outside and away from our computers. I challenge you to keep your phones and ipods in your pockets and to take in your surroundings. Listen and look for wildlife. Reflect on the historical surroundings. Simply be present with your classmates/colleagues and enjoy their company.


We will be taking the stairs down to Dairy Lane and turning left. I ask that you stay on the grassy area to the left of the road.

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Other Ridges Facts: -­‐

The residents of Athens purchased this land from the Coates family in 1867 and then donated the 150 acres to the state for construction of the facility.


Athens was selected for this facility since its location was centrally located among the rail lines at the time.


There was ready access to pure soft water thanks to a variety of springs on the land.


The land is positioned in such a way that is favorable to natural drainage.


Henry O’Bleness was hired for the making and laying of the bricks needed for the initial construction. o The bricks were made on site from clay dug on site. o It is predicted that there are approximately 19 million bricks used in the facilities.


The buildings are constructed using the Kirkbride model (named after architect Thomas Kirkbride, who believed that beautiful and serene settings promoted healing in the mentally ill).


Food was prepared on site in the kitchen and then distributed to the wings by transporting on a small railroad in the basement and up to the appropriate floors via dumbwaiters


The campus was really a self-sustaining system (in fact, the only real cost was purchase of local coal and oil for heating and electric). o The food was harvested and prepared on site through the garden, dairy barn and orchard. §

By 1911, the dairy provided enough milk to supply each patient with one pint per day!

o Amenities and resources such as a barber and medical services all had offices on site. o Other facilities included a sewing room, kitchens, bathrooms, chapel, a visitor’s room, an amusement hall and staff quarters. o Under the direction of George Link, over 10 miles of roads and walks were constructed using one horse carts and manual labor.

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o In 1913, a still for making alcohol was discovered on the grounds. §

It turned out to be the product of a patient, with the help of carpenters and maintenance personnel.


The original facility (1874) had enough beds for 570 patients. Additional buildings were added throughout the years, reaching approximately 600, 000 square feet of building space and accommodating as many as 1, 362 patients by November of 1911.


The rechanneling of the Hocking River in 1968 destroyed much of the carefully constructed grounds (including 4 ponds- shaped like a heart, spade, club and diamond - that were used as ice skating ponds in the winter and for ice for the facility). o This shift in grounds also shifted community use of the space – community members no longer utilized the facility for recreational purposes.


By 1981, there were fewer than 300 patients in the facility.


In 1982, Ohio University was gifted 344 acres of the facility and received the remaining acreage in 1988.


The mental health facility transitioned to a new space in 1993.

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Ecohouse: Location: The Ecohouse is located at 8133 Dairy Lane, Athens OH. Parking: This is a private residence. So, we ask that tours do not park at the house (park at the Compost facility or The Ridges). The exception to this is for one single transport vehicle to park at the house to take a carload of participants (drivers of other cars) back to their vehicles. Begin at the bottom of the hill: -­‐ -­‐

This is the OHIO Ecohouse. It is a student residence with a sustainable twist. The house is 100 years old, and for most of its existence it served as a single family residence. OU acquired the Ecohouse when it purchased all of the Ridges, and it was used for years as a temporary housing for visiting professors or professors in transition that haven’t yet found a home in Athens. In 2005, with the help of motivated students, professors, and community members the Ecohouse project was launched. The 2005/2006 school year was the first year students lived in the house, and it was an Ecohouse in name only. At first, it was all about the motivation of the students who lived there. They were interested in sustainability and experimenting with different ways of living to reduce their impact on the environment. Since then, there has been a lot of money invested in the house, but it is constantly changing and continues to be a place that is led by the motivations of its residents.


Students are chosen to live here after participating competitive application process. The next round of applicants will be selected in October for the following academic year.


Three students currently reside in the house. And, they are asked to learn about and practice a sustainable lifestyle. They aren’t asked to be experts on sustainable living, merely to learn about the lifestyle and help us educate others.


The entire goal of the Ecohouse Project is to show that it is possible to live a sustainable life in an affordable and respectable manner. Sustainable can look nice and be affordable! It’s also a great time for self reflection. With that said, going back to our earlier conversation, what have you thought about in your own life that may have a connection with sustainability? (let all who want to answer the question, if there’s silence, tell them something you do that is NOT very sustainable---it helps break the ice and remove the guilt).


Many of the features of this house are so subtle, we won’t even talk about them. Sustainable living can be as simple as recycling, bringing your own bag to the grocery

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store or humanely managing rodent problems to more obvious such as the Solar Thermal array here. Walk to the Solar Thermal array: -­‐

We talked briefly about Solar Thermal at the Compost facility. You’ll recall that the array at the compost facility was on the roof. This one is ground mounted. Both are completely acceptable styles of installation.


So, let’s start with the basics…what is a solar thermal array? (pause for answers). It’s essentially a hot water heater….It’s a sustainable way to heat your water. See, we use a glycol solution in the tubes that run along these panels and the water flows through those tubes, the water passes through the glycol loop and heats the water. o Glycol solution- like antifreeze. 1. More efficient at transferring heat. 2. Doesn’t freeze


In warmer climates, you will see water piping painted black on the exterior of homes. That’s actually a cheaper, even more efficient way to heat your water---but, it’s just not as sexy as a panel in your yard.


So, if Solar Thermal is using the power of the sun for the purpose of heating water and a Photovoltaic array is using the power of the sun to create electricity, which of these two technologies do you think is more efficient? The Solar Thermal! Why? Well, we’re using heat to create heat, so nothing is lost in the conversion. But, with PVs, we’re using light and converting it to electricity, so we lose some efficiencies in the process.


Costs: $7000, payback in 5-7 years. fast payback. Great investment for most homes. Can be subsidized by government.

Solar Powered Clothes Dryer: -­‐

Make a joke about the “expensive solar powered clothes dryer” and talk about how the residents save electricity by allowing the clothes to air dry. Rain Barrel: -­‐

Much like the rainwater harvesting cistern at the compost facility, we collect rain and use it for a variety of purposes: flushing the toilet, watering the lawn/garden, washing garden equipment, etc.

Compost: -­‐

This is a more traditional in-home composter. The general idea is still the same, but on a much smaller scale than the university-wide compost facility. The food waste and landscape waste from the house is placed in the barrel, which is rotated

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regularly (about once per week) and that allows the breakdown of materials to happen faster. -­‐

A third and fourth example of composting are available in the basement (vermicomposting) and in the community garden (bin composting) – and, all are acceptable ways to compost in the home.

Photovoltaic Array: -­‐

We have a 2.4kW, grid-tied system installed by Dovetail solar and wind. OU paid $20,000 for the solar array after government rebates/subsidies/incentives. The cost of solar has decreased significantly since this was installed, making it much more accessible for the average homeowner.


There are 2 kinds of electricity demand: instant high demand and long-run total demand. Our system is grid tied because we use more electricity than we produce. However, even if we produced enough on average, we still might not produce enough for short periods of high demand. In addition, battery storage is inefficient and it is more efficient to use the grid as our battery.


Efficiency of the PV array is relatively low, about 12%. Our array is not in an ideal spot because we live in a holler and therefore don’t get as much direct sunlight as we would in a flatter area or higher up. The PV panels work more efficiently in the winter, but they provide more electricity in the summer because there are many more hours of good sunlight. What about solar electricity in SE Ohio in general. We already have good high voltage power lines infrastructure which are good for connecting to solar. We don’t get as much sun as many places, but we do have population centers nearby. Energy is also lost in the transport of electricity. Because of this, a desert out west might seem like a great place for solar, but there aren’t any population centers nearby and the electricity has to be transported and so it loses a lot in transmission.


Downsides to solar: not affordable, takes up a lot of space, not enough power, embodied energy (the amount of energy needed to create the panels), PVs need to work for 10 years before they repay embodied energy, wind energy is much better, PV panels are made from mined silicon with a limited supply


Upsides: some places solar is critical if the location is off the grid, creates incentives for R & D, everything first generation costs a lot, over time price declines, economies of scale, cleaner option, many of the costs of fossil fuels are not economic such as air quality and health.


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Community Garden: -­‐

This space was once just a garden for our residents, but we’ve spent a lot of time and energy converting it to a campus garden. Any student, faculty or staff member is able to adopt a plot for free!


Everything grown in the garden is organic. What is organic? Why does it matter? Organic among commercial products is a certification that verifies that something was grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Chemicals are all around us, why should it matter if they’re used in growing our food? First of all, fertilizers and pesticides are usually petroleum based; this increases our reliance and dependency on foreign oil. Also, these chemicals may have a negative impact on our health in the long run. However, there is no conclusive research that shows how chemical pesticides affect our health. Chemical fertilizers can seep into groundwater or get carried off in rainwater runoff into surface bodies of water such as streams, lakes and oceans.


Why is that bad? When a water bodied is contaminated with excess nutrients, it can stimulate the rapid reproduction of algae causing an algal bloom. These algae multiply and use up the majority of these excess nutrients until there is no longer enough nutrients in the water to support the large population of algae. As a result, the algae begin to die. At this time, there is a lot of dissolved oxygen in the water, a necessity for aquatic life. As the algae die, they are decomposed by aerobic bacteria which themselves quickly multiply and use up all of the oxygen in the water. The bacteria continue to do so until there is no oxygen left. At this point, the affected area becomes a dead zone where plants and animals can no longer live, and the remainder of the algae are decomposed by anaerobic bacteria which produce greenhouse gas.


Chemical pesticides can create resistance among the pests that they target, and as a result higher and higher doses of the toxic chemicals must be used.

-­‐ -­‐

How else is conventional agriculture petroleum dependent? Transportation- farm goods are mass produced in certain regions and then shipped throughout the country. This may actually be more efficient use of fossil fuels overall if sufficient economies of scale reduce the fuel used per unit produced.


Mechanization- Modern agriculture is extremely capital/machine intensive and uses very little human power. All of these machines require fossil fuel.


Does anybody recognize anything in the garden? Does anyone have any gardening/farming experience? Has anyone been to the Athens farmers’ market? Why? Know who grew your food. Eating seasonal is natural and good for the earth.

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There are natural conditions favorable for different foods at different times. Creating artificial conditions requires more resources such as fuel/water/nutrients/etc. Our market was rated in the top 10 farmers’ markets in the country by the Audubon Society. Sustainability is not about depriving yourself, rather it is a way to have a higher quality of life and not degrade the environment. -­‐

Does anyone have a diet that has an impact on resource use? Local? Meat? Vegan? Fast food? Slow food?


Point out the compost pile – it’s different than the other two we have viewed today. There are as many ways to compost as there are people who compost.

Optional: Indoor Tour: Note: Participants are only allowed in the kitchen and basement out of respect for our residents’ privacy. -­‐

Kitchen: o Compost collection o Appliances- Energy Star- EPA rating for energy efficiency. This is a mandatory labeling to assist consumers. Also for buildings (like LEED). Shows operating costs instead of just initial costs. Electricity only, not water. o Dishwasher- small, more likely to be full, water efficient o Fridge- energy star, freezer on bottom o Insulation- house re-insulated to reduce heating/cooling costs. Windows insulated o Programmable thermostat- allows us to save energy when house doesn’t need to be hot because people are sleeping or not home


Bathroom (talk about it, but stay in the kitchen): o Grey water system- save water, $, energy; don’t need drinking water to flush toilet. Use rainwater, dishwater, dehumidifier water o showerhead- saves water, low-flow, and kill switch on showerhead


Basement o Vermicomposter o Washing machine- water efficient, energy star, uses less detergent, manufactured in ohio, $1200 o Dryer- manufactured in Ohio, lint goes to worms o On-demand water heater- gas powered, heats water as needed instead of having a full tank of hot water 24 hours a day, costs $900 (private homes can get $300 rebate) o Insulated hot water tank - pays off very fast, should be standard

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o A-Maize-ing heat- can use recycled wood but doesn’t always if demand is too high, carbon neutral because trees are part of the current carbon cycle unlike fossil fuels which are stored carbon (terminology debatable), dirtier with respect to particulate matter § wood vs. maize- wood is not a food product, price difference, also wood has higher heat potential per weight, (BTUs), § self-augering, different than a traditional wood stove that needs human-powered fuel addition, $2000 cost of furnace, can save money (depends on fuel costs) o Inverter- DC to AC current. Panel produces DC, most home appliances use AC. 2 kW inverter, but we have a 2.4 kW array, more cost efficient because we rarely produce full capacity, right sizing- buy a cheaper inverter that will have sufficient capacity most of the time

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Questioning Techniques Effective questioning techniques can be easily developed with practice. Some guidelines to keep in mind are: •

Keep the wording of the questions free of jargon

Use familiar terms – familiar to both you AND your audience

Use age-appropriate language

Be clear and direct

Pose questions one at a time – not in rapid-fire succession

Allow time for answers, rephrasing the question if necessary. When rephrasing, make sure you don’t totally change the question or the answer desired.

Not all questions need to be answered

Above all, be flexible!

Levels of Questioning: 1.) Focus Questions – the most basic type of question, this level of questioning allows the interpreter to sum up background information the visitor may have. It requires the visitor to obtain specific information using perceptual skills (listen, see, touch, smell, taste) or language skills (verbal, written). a.

Answers require knowledge of the subject

b. Allows interpreter to determine if information is already known or is being learned c.

Involves recall/identification/definition

d. Sometimes a yes-no or a one-word answer e. Key Words/phrases: Name, List, Count, Define, Label, Identify f.

Sample Question: Can you describe the types of food you eat in the dining halls that can be composted?

2.) Process Questions – This type of question has a wider scope of possible responses. The audience is asked to integrate information rather than just remember or describe. At this level, the participant will build on information acquired earlier and apply reasoning skills to information about objects. a.

Require application of reasoning

b. Require organization of information to form an opinion or justify it c.

Involve explanations of relationships between objects, things, etc.

d. Integration of new information into previous experience i. Key words/phrases: Compare, explain, justify, organize, categorize, plan, summarize, develop and argument. e. Sample Question: Why do we compost?

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   3.) Evaluative Questions – At this level, questions are used to ask the participant to go beyond the known. The questions deal with matters of value, choice or judgment of the audience. This type of question will often stimulate interest and creativity. They encourage the participant to: a.

Transfer new information or ideas, then make judgments

b. Go beyond known or given information c.

Make predictions

d. Formulate hypotheses e. Key words/phrases: Suppose, speculate, imagine, revise, compose, decide f.

Sample Question: Imagine what our world would look like if everyone composted instead of sending so much to the landfill…how would our lives be different?

4.) Affective Questions – This type of question deal less with the cognitive aspect of the experience and instead focuses on the emotional aspects. Affective questions are those that enable participants to clarify values and explore feelings; that enable participants to get in touch with some intangible elements of their experience. a.

Sample question: What personal changes do you feel you can make in your life to assist with our sustainability efforts?

Adapted from Questioning Techniques by Tess Schatzer

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Presentation and Group Facilitation Tips: When Asking Questions: • Direct most questions to the entire audience rather than a single individual. This indicates to the group that everyone is expected to think. • Ask only one question at a time. • Allow time for an answer. This is called “wait time.” Try not to answer your own question. If no one offers a response, leave it open to be answered later, or rephrase the question. • Do not start a question with “Does anyone know…” or “Can anyone tell me…” Such phrases express doubt that the question can be answered. • Pace questions to the ability of the group. • Develop ideas and concepts through a series of questions. Build from focus questions to process questions to evaluative questions. This challenges your group to higher levels of thinking. • Accept answers gracefully, even if the answers are wrong. Never make someone feel foolish for participating in the program. • Avoid asking questions that require a simple yes or no. When Using Props: • Involve different senses with props. Odors and noises capture a group’s attention. The sound of a ringing bell, a rifle firing, even a silence can all be powerful tools (though, Office of Sustainability discourages the use of firearms). • Use historical artifacts (or reproductions). They can be used to invoke a bygone era, helping the visitor to travel back in time. • Involve the visitor with the propr. When possible allow them to touch the object, to hold it. We remember what we experience. • Use familiar objects in unfamiliar ways in order to help you draw analogies between common objects and the natural world. For example, assembling a flashlight clearly shows the concept of interdependence – the ideas that different parts work together to make a system. When Using Humor: • Relate the story to the talk. Humor should be used only if it illustrates an important point. If it is used only to gain a laugh, it is inappropriate.

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• Use a story only if it is not offensive and is one with which the audience can identify. It is important to exercise good taste and not embarrass your audience or the Office. If anyone is the target of the humor, make it you. • A humorous story or anecdote should arrive unannounced. It should drift in and out of the plot unobtrusively. • Humor requires timing and delivery to be effective. Use it only if you feel comfortable with it and understand it.

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When Using Guided Imagery: • Use guided imagery to transport people to a time and place where they cannot physically go. • Research your subject to create accurate images. • Develop a script that relates to the sequential images in story form. • Place your audience in a setting conducive to entering their imagination. Create a peaceful, trusting atmosphere. • Use good storytelling techniques to guide the group through the experience. Take the time to allow people to visualize the scene. • Have the group share their experience. For Storytelling: • Select stories that mean something to you and that you like to tell. Good stories relate to a group’s common experiences • Select stories that are relevant to your interpretive goals. • Research the facts of fthe story. You have to know your subject to do more than simply entertain. • Select a point of view. Will you tell the story from an omniscient perspective in the third person or in the first person as if it happened to you? • Memorize a sequence of images for the story, but not necessarily the words. • When telling the story, keep the listener’s imagination engaged with sequential images. Use voice reflection that fits the action, use gestures to paint images, recreate sounds for dramatic effect, or create distinct characters and have them speak to each other. • Use frequent pauses so the imagery can unfold. Avoid going more than 10-12 syllables without a pause, but do so at random so there is no distracting pattern. Hold pauses longer to create suspense. • Storytelling is an intimate medium. Everyone should feel that you are talking directly to them. Make random eye contact and focus on individuals. • Avoid using props. Imagery is the storyteller’s tool. When props are used, listeners focus on them rather than the story being told. • Avoid over-illustrating and telling too many details. • Believe in yourself. Enjoy what you are doing and the audience will, too. Compiled from The Interpreter’s Guidebook: Techniques for Programs and Presentations by Kathleen Regnier, Michael Gross and Ron Zimmerman. University of Wisconsin Foundation Press, Inc. 1992.

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Facilitating Questions to Children

Why does “going green” matter? What do you do or see other people doing that is good or bad for the environment? How is eating connected to going green? Does anyone know anyone who doesn’t eat any meat? What is neat about getting food locally? Does anyone live on a farm? How much food do you throw away? Why does food end up in the trash? How do your parents get you to eat food? Where does the food go when it ends up in the trash? What’s the problem with that? Does anyone’s food at home go somewhere else but to the landfill? Tell me about it. What goes in your compost pile? What happens to the food? Why is composting good for the Earth? What else around here do you notice that might be considered green? Do solar panels collect more energy in one hour of sun in the winter or the summer? Do they collect more energy overall in the winter or summer? How would we generate electricity without solar panels? What is the problem with fossil fuels? Other points to touch on: the rainwater harvesting system, the road, the Ridges history Walk around and look at the compost machine—how it loads the organic waste, turns it, and produces a soil amendment.

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As a closing activity, talk about Ohio U. wasting a lot of food in the dining halls. Ask them why they think kids on campus wastes large amounts of food. How do they think they can reduce their food waste? Give each child a card and they can make a commitment to reduce their waste at the dining hall during lunch.

Phrases and Concepts Food and Ecology: Food Chain: In ecology, the sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of food. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. Plants, which convert solar energy to food by photosynthesis, are the primary food source. In a predator chain, a plant-eating animal is eaten by a flesh-eating animal. In a parasite chain, a smaller organism consumes part of a larger host and may itself be parasitized by even smaller organisms. In a saprophytic chain, microorganisms live on dead organic matter. Because energy, in the form of heat, is lost at each step, or trophic level, chains do not normally encompass more than four or five trophic levels. People can increase the total food supply by cutting out one step in the food chain: instead of consuming animals that eat cereal grains, the people themselves consume the grains. Because the food chain is made shorter, the total amount of energy available to the final consumers is increased. - Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Biofilter, Biofiltration: A pollution control technique using living material to capture and biologically degrade process pollutants. Common uses include processing waste water, capturing harmful chemicals or silt from surface runoff, and microbiotic oxidation of contaminants in air. -­‐


Bioswale: Landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. They consist of a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides (less than six percent) and filled with vegetation, compost and/or riprap. The water's flow path, along with the wide and shallow ditch, is designed to maximize the time water spends in the swale, which aids the trapping of pollutants and silt. Depending upon the geometry of land available, a bioswale may have a meandering or almost straight channel alignment. Biological factors also contribute to the breakdown of certain pollutants. A common application is around parking lots, where substantial automotive pollution is collected by the paving and then flushed by rain. The bioswale, or other type of biofilter, wraps around the parking lot and treats the runoff before releasing it to the watershed or storm sewer. -­‐


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   (Past  Tour  Script)  OHIO  Ecohouse  Notes  

By:  Kylie  Johnson     Tour  Interaction   When  conducting  a  tour  at  the  Ecohouse,  the  emphasis  should  be  placed  on  stimulating   conversation  with  visitors  about  sustainability  issues.  It  is  important  to  engage  visitors  in  critical   self-­‐reflection  instead  of  just  delivering  information.  When  beginning  a  tour,  start  out  by  getting  a   baseline  understanding  of  the  knowledge  level  of  the  group.  This  can  be  done  by  asking  questions   about  their  individual  backgrounds  and  this  will  stimulate  conversation  and  help  engage  the  group   throughout  the  tour.   Background  Information   The  OHIO  Ecohouse  is  a  residence  for  OU  students  and  is  considered  a  university  housing   option.  The  house  is  over  100  years  old  and  was  a  family  residence  for  many  years.  The  Ecohouse   was  acquired  by  Ohio  University  along  with  the  ridges  property.  When  it  was  first  purchased  by  the   university,  the  Ecohouse  was  a  normal  home  used  to  house  visiting  faculty  members  or  other  short   term  visitors.      

In 2005,  the  Ecohouse  project  was  launched  with  the  first  set  of  students  living  in  the  house.  

At this  time,  there  were  no  physical  changes  made  to  the  house  that  defined  it  as  being  an  eco-­‐ friendly  home.  Rather,  the  emphasis  was  placed  on  the  attitude  of  the  residents  who  were  expected   to  be  eco-­‐minded  and  supportive  of  sustainability  issues.     Group  Discussion   After  background  information  has  been  given  about  the  house,  initiate  group  conversation   in  a  circle  setting.  Ask  visitors  general  questions  such  as  their  names,  what  they  are  studying/where   they  work,  and  something  about  their  current  lifestyle  that  can  be  related  to  sustainability  issues.   To  stimulate  discussion,  visitors  could  be  asked  where  they  are  living  or  how  they  are  currently   living.  This  does  not  necessarily  mean  how  “green”  they  are  living,  but  rather  opening  the  door  to   see  what  issues  can  be  explored.    

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   While  discussing  issues  with  a  tour  group,  it  is  important  to  make  it  clear  that  you  have  an   open  and  critical  mind  and  are  aware  of  the  challenges  associated  with  living  sustainably.  When   asking  questions  and  conversing,  make  sure  comments  are  phrased  in  a  non-­‐judgmental  manner  so   that  people  do  not  feel  they  are  being  criticized  for  their  current  lifestyle  choices.  An  example  of  this   is  when  discussion  is  generated  about  water  conservation  and  taking  long  showers.  Instead  of   criticizing  someone  that  admits  to  taking  long  showers,  keep  your  reaction  light-­‐hearted  but  also   thought  provoking.  An  example  response  could  be,  “Wow,  what  are  you  doing  in  the  shower  that   long?”    In  addition,  do  not  let  every  group  member  give  the  same  answers  in  response  to  questions.   Make  this  apparent  in  the  beginning  so  that  they  know  individual  critical  thinking  is  encouraged   throughout  the  tour.  An  example  of  a  critical  thinking  question  could  be  phrased  in  a  way  such  as,   “do  you  think  overall  OU  students  are  good  or  bad  recyclers?”  This  type  of  open-­‐ended  question  can   generate  productive  discussion.  

Garden The  Ecohouse  is  the  only  residence  on  campus  where  you  can  grow  your  own  food.  Everything  in   the  garden  is  grown  organically.  Explore  topics  related  to  food  and  food  production  with  visitors.     Ÿ

What is  the  difference  between  organic  and  non-­‐organic,  and  why  does  it  matter?  Organic  foods  

are grown  without  chemical  fertilizers  and  pesticides.  Being  organic  refers  to  the  actual   certification  of  the  food.     Ÿ

What is  the  problem  with  chemicals?  When  asking  this  type  of  question,  play  the  part  of  an  

open-­‐minded thinker.  We  have  chemicals  all  around  us,  so  what  is  so  bad  about  them?   Ÿ

Chemical fertilizers-­‐  These  are  petroleum  derived  along  with  plastics,  paint,  etc.  Because  fossil  

fuels are  stored  up  energy,  they  provide  a  rich  source  of  nutrients.  This  is  why  chemical  fertilizers   are  effective  on  plants.  However,  they  are  very  detrimental  to  waterways  for  the  same  reason.   Chemical  fertilizers  are  full  of  nitrogen  that  cause  algae  blooms  in  waterways  because  of  the  rich   nutrients  they  provide.  The  aerobic  bacteria  thrive  on  these  nutrients  from  the  algae  blooms,   causing  the  whole  system  to  become  anaerobic  which  creates  “dead  zones”  in  the  waterways.  With   fertilizers,  only  a  small  portion  is  actually  absorbed  by  the  plant  and  the  excess  creates  issues  for   the  ground  and  water  systems.   Ÿ

Chemical Pesticides-­‐  These  are  also  petroleum  derived.  No  significant  research  exists  that  link  

pesticides to  negative  impacts  on  humans.  However,  it  creates  other  problems,  including  insect   tolerance  and  petroleum  dependency.     Solar  Array  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   The  solar  array  was  installed  by  Dovetail  Solar  &  Wind  and  is  a  2.4  kilo-­‐watt  system.  It  is  a  PV   (photovoltaic  array),  and  is  grid  tied.  It  can  provide  40%  of  the  energy  for  the  house.  The  cost  of  the   array  was  $20,000  after  rebates  provided  by  the  state  of  Ohio.  There  is  a  subsidy  for  alternative   energy  installations  that  applies  to  PV,  wind,  and  solar  thermal.  Efficiency  is  low  for  PV,  and  is  about   12%.  There  are  constraints  with  PV  cells  associated  with  losses  from  transmission  and  issues  with   climate.     Ÿ

What are  the  advantages  of  a  grid  tied  system?  


Why bother  with  solar?  Where  does  our  energy  come  from?  


When are  solar  panels  the  most  efficient,  in  the  summer  or  winter?  

Problems associated  with  solar  power:     Ÿ

Not efficient  


Battery &  transmission  


Location (Ohio  not  an  ideal  location)  


Embodied energy-­‐energy  used  to  make  the  product.  Solar  panel  made  from  silicon  

which is  a  mined  resource   Why  bother  then?   Ÿ

Investing in  solar  created  demand  for  further  research  and  development  into  more    

efficient designs   Ÿ  

Solar is  critical  in  certain  locations  such  as  phone  boxes  on  the  highway  that  are  off    

the grid     Ÿ

The more  we  deploy,  the  more  the  industry  will  be  able  to  develop  and  reduce  costs                      

associated with  manufacturing   Ÿ

Still a  cleaner  option  if  you  take  costs  of  mining,  waste,  burning,  damages  into  account  

Solar Thermal   The  solar  thermal  system  was  installed  by  Third  Sun  and  they  usually  range  from  $4,000-­‐$7,000.   This  specific  panel  was  $4,000.  The  system  works  by  the  heat  of  the  sun  heating  a  glycol  solution   that  is  running  through  the  pipes  that  are  visible  in  the  panel.  It  is  a  PV  solar  array  that  works  by   light  hitting  the  surface  of  the  panel,  which  provides  energy  that  is  pumped  into  the  house  to  heat   the  water.  This  system  is  more  efficient  than  traditional  water  heating  systems  because  it  uses  heat   to  make  heat.  The  glycol  solution  is  needed  because  if  just  water  was  heated,  it  would  freeze  in  the   winter  and  burst  the  pipes.  This  system  is  a  good  investment  because  the  payback  period  is  only  5-­‐ 7  years.  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Ÿ

Why is  this  system  more  efficient  than  a  traditional  system?  


Why would  you  need  a  glycol  solution  running  through  the  pipes  instead  of  water?  

Compost Composting  is  the  process  where  organic  matter  decomposes  at  an  accelerating  rate.  This  is   different  from  biodegrading  because  composting  is  accelerated  because  a  higher  temperature  is   achieved  during  the  breakdown  process.  This  is  an  aerobic  process  that  requires  the  correct  carbon   to  nitrogen  ratio  of  3:1  for  proper  breakdown  to  occur.  If  your  compost  smells,  then  you  are  doing   something  wrong  like  possibly  not  adding  enough  brown  material  or  putting  rotten  food  in  the   compost  pile.  Rotting  is  an  anaerobic  process.  Composting  is  temperature  dependent  and   determines  the  speed  at  which  the  material  breaks  down.   Ÿ

What do  you  notice  that  Ecohouse  residents  eat?  How  sustainable  is  their  diet?  


Why should  we  bother  with  composting?  


What is  the  connection  between  composting  and  landfills?  

You can  also  mention  at  this  station  that  verma-­‐composting  is  another  option  using  tropical  red   worms  to  break  down  material.  Additionally,  you  can  mention  the  in-­‐vessel  composting  system   used  at  OU  that  is  just  up  the  road  from  the  Ecohouse.   Kitchen   When  you  walk  into  the  kitchen  with  a  group,  you  can  ask  what  features  they  notice  that  are   sustainable  as  far  as  technology  or  practices.  Features  they  may  point  out  include:  recycling  bins,   reusable  containers,  refrigerator  with  freezer  on  the  bottom,  composting  bowl,  ceiling  fan,  compact   dishwasher,  etc.  Mention  the  energy  star  label  located  on  the  fridge  and  other  appliances  in  the   house,  and  explain  what  it  means.  Energy  star  is  an  EPA  program  that  requires  mandatory  labeling   for  appliances.  All  appliances  are  rated  on  the  same  scale  of  efficiency,  and  this  program  is  a   counterpart  to  LEED.  If  there  is  time,  you  can  have  a  conversation  with  your  group  about  the  value   of  rightsizing  appliances  and  the  efficiency  of  electricity  versus  that  of  gas  stoves.   Other  sustainable  house  features  include:   Ÿ

Insulation. Blown  cellulose  insulation  made  from  reused  newspaper  fiber.  It  is  blown  through  

small holes  in  the  wall.   Ÿ

Plastic covering  on  windows  


Programmable thermostat  


Grey water  system  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Ÿ

Shower head  nozzle.  It  is  low  flow  but  preferable  over  standards  


Water-­‐saving bottles  in  top  of  toilet  tank  

Basement Washing  machine-­‐  It  saves  water  because  it  spins  clockwise  instead  of  circularly.  It  is  an  energy   star  appliance  and  uses  less  soap  than  traditional  washers.  It  was  manufactured  in  Ohio  by  Staber.   The  cost  was  $1200.     Dryer-­‐  Not  necessarily  considered  sustainable,  but  it  was  purchased  locally.  Also,  the  dryer  lint  can   be  fed  to  the  red  worms  in  the  verma-­‐compost.     On-­‐Demand  heater-­‐  When  the  solar  thermal  does  not  produce  enough  heat,  the  on-­‐demand  system   kicks  in  to  heat  the  water  the  rest  of  the  way.  The  advantage  to  this  system  is  that  the  gas  heat  is   used  less  than  in  a  traditional  setup.  The  hot  water  tank  is  insulated  on  the  outside,  which  is  not   standard  for  most  systems.  It  helps  retain  some  of  the  heat.  This  system  was  $900.     A-­‐maize-­‐ing  heat  furnace-­‐This  furnace  was  originally  meant  to  use  maize  for  its  heat  source,  but   corn  is  more  expensive  to  use  and  it  also  takes  away  from  a  food  source  if  it  is  used  instead  as  a   biofuel.  Instead,  wood  pellets  are  used.  The  pellets  can  be  made  out  of  recycled  wood,  which  is  also   a  more  sustainable  practice  than  using  corn.  Just  like  any  other  furnace,  the  efficiency  depends  on   temperature,  time  of  year,  flame,  etc.  The  cost  of  this  system  is  $2,000  and  it  can  save  on  fuel   expenses  depending  on  the  variables  mentioned  above.     Ÿ

Why would  burning  wood  be  better  than  regular  furnaces?  


What are  some  negative  issues  associated  with  burning  wood?  

Burning  wood  is  better  than  burning  fossil  fuels  that  add  greenhouse  gases  into  the  atmosphere.   Some  consider  wood  to  be  cleaner  than  coal  for  this  reason,  but  calling  wood  a  cleaner  source  could   raise  issues  for  some  because  burning  wood  still  involves  cutting  down  trees  that  leads  to   degradation  and  habitat  loss.  However,  wood  is  a  renewable  resource  unlike  fossil  fuels.  Also,  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   particulate  matter  is  much  worse  when  burning  coal  compared  to  wood,  and  dangerous  toxins  such   as  mercury  are  released  when  burning  coal.     Inverter-­‐  This  unit  changes  the  electric  current  from  the  solar  panel  from  DC  (direct  current)  to  AC   (alternating  current).  It  is  a  2kw  inverter  compared  to  the  2.4  kw  array.  The  inverter  has  a  smaller   capacity  because  it  costs  more  to  have  a  large  inverter,  and  it  wouldn’t  be  that  much  more  efficient   if  it  were  the  same  size  because  you  do  not  normally  produce  the  maximum  amount  of  energy.  It  is   more  efficient  to  “right  size”  in  this  case.  


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Ecohouse  Walkthrough  (Past  Tour  Script)   Transportation   Bicycling    

Residents of  the  Ecohouse  choose  to  walk  or  bicycle  to  class  or  around  campus  as  much  s  

possible.  Some  residents  do  own  cars,  but  they  are  not  normally  used  for  daily  transportation.    The   Ecohouse  has  a  bike  rack  out  front  for  residents  or  visitors  to  use.       Greasel  Collective    

The Ecohouse  sponsors  a  greasel  collective  in  its  garage.    Local  residents  who  have  properly  

converted their  own  diesel  cars  to  run  on  filtered  grease  collect  grease  from  local  restaurants  and   bring  it  to  the  Ecohouse  garage  for  filtration.    The  collective  helps  to  intercept  waste  grease  from   local  restaurants  like  Casa  Nueva  from  being  sent  to  a  landfill.    Although  the  Ecohouse  residents  do   not  use  the  biodiesel  in  their  own  cars,  the  Ecohouse  supports  the  use  of  alternative  fuels.    

Efficiency Insulation    

The Ecohouse  is  committed  to  reducing  energy  consumption  as  much  as  possible.    During  

the beginning  stages  of  the  renovations,  COAD  performed  an  audit  on  the  house  in  order  to   determine  what  efficiency  measures  would  be  most  effective.    Insulation  was  one  of  the  main  areas   that  needed  to  be  addressed.    The  Ecohouse  has  been  insulated  with  Nu-­‐Wool  blown  cellulose  and   R19  in  the  attic,  sidewalls,  crawl  space,  and  basement  walls,  which  has  increased  efficiency   significantly.  Another  step  residents  take  to  insulate  the  house  is  to  keep  the  storm  windows  in  at   all  times  and  they  add  shrinking  or  plain  window  plastic  to  the  windows  in  the  winter  in  order  to   retain  heat.   Energy  Star  Appliances    

Several main  appliances  in  the  house  are  Energy  Star  appliances.  Energy  Star  appliances  are  

more efficient  in  use  of  energy  than  other  appliances  of  a  similar  capacity,  and  they  can  be  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   purchased  at  any  major  appliance  store.    The  Energy  Star  appliances  in  the  Ecohouse  are  the   refrigerator,  the  dishwasher,  the  clothing  washer,  and  the  dehumidifier.       Refrigerator    

The refrigerator  uses  1000  watts,  which  is  approximately  40%  of  the  output  of  the  solar  

panels.  One  aspect  of  its  design  that  lends  to  its  efficiency  is  that  the  freezer  is  on  the  bottom.    Since   heat  rises,  having  the  freezer  closer  to  the  floor  means  that  the  freezer  must  use  less  energy  to  stay   cold.       Dishwasher    

The European-­‐designed  dishwasher  is  smaller  than  a  standard  dishwasher  because  the  

Ecohouse has  a  small  number  of  residents.  The  smaller  size  is  more  efficient  because  when  it  is   used  to  wash  the  dishes  in  the  house  it  is  more  likely  to  be  full.       Washing  Machine    

The Staber  washing  machine  is  an  Energy  Star  certified  appliance  that  uses  significantly  less  

water than  a  regular  washing  machine.    It  was  manufactured  by  Staber  Industries  of  Groveport,   Ohio,  and  ordered  through  Dovetail.    In  a  large  load,  it  uses  about  16  gallons;  a  standard  washer   would  use  about  35  gallons.    The  machine  is  able  to  use  significantly  less  water  because  it  works   like  a  front  load  washer  where  the  clothes  are  spun  through  the  water  in  the  way  that  a  dryer   tumbles  clothes.    The  washer  does  not  need  to  fill  up  as  much  because  the  clothes  all  pass  through   the  water  constantly.      The  washer  is  not  front  load;  there  is  a  cage  in  the  unit  that  can  be  opened   from  the  top  and  locked  in  place.    Although  it  is  not  energy  efficient,  the  dryer  was  also  purchased   from  Staber  Industries  because  it  is  a  local  product.    the  dryer  is  mostly  used  during  the  winter   when  the  clothesline  is  difficult  to  use.   Dehumidifier   Compact  Fluorescent  Light  bulbs    

Using compact  fluorescent  light  bulbs  (CFLs)  can  be  the  easiest  way  to  save  energy  in  the  

home.  They  can  be  purchased  anywhere  that  sells  light  bulbs,  and  although  they  have  a  higher  up   front  cost,  they  save  much  more  in  energy  costs  and  replacement  costs  over  their  lifetimes.    A  CFL   uses  about  2/3  less  energy  than  a  standard  incandescent  one  and  it  can  last  from  five  to  nine  years.    

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Most  of  the  light  fixtures  use  13  or  23  watt  CFLs  that  give  off  the  same  amount  of  light  as  a  60  or   100  watt  incandescent  bulb.    The  solar  array  produces  enough  energy  to  power  about  185  13  watt   CFLs  compared  to  only  40  60  watt  bulbs  for  one  hour.    

Power Solar  Array    

The Ecohouse  Solar  Array  is  a  2.4  Kilowatt  system,  which  would  provide  about  the  amount  

of energy  that  it  would  take  to  light  40  60-­‐watt  light  bulbs  for  1  hour  or  to  power  2.5  standard   refrigerator  units.    The  panels,  which  cost  approximately  $23,000,  were  manufactured  in  Spain  and   they  were  installed  by  Dovetail  Solar  and  Wind.    

Heating/Cooling Biomass  Furnace    

The Ecohouse  is  heated  by  a  biomass  furnace  that    furnace  cost  $2,450  and  was  purchased  

from a  company  in  Iowa.    The  furnace  runs  on  wood  pellets,  corn    kernels,  or  other  biotized  pellet   fuel.    A  full  load  can  keep  the  house  heated  for  two  weeks.    It  is  only  used  when  it  is  needed  with  the   help  of  the  programmable  thermostat.    The  biomass  furnace  is  considered  to  be  carbon  neutral   because  the  carbon  that  is  emitted  equals  that  which  the  corn  or  trees  sequestered.     Programmable  Thermostat    

The thermostat  in  the  Ecohouse  is  programmable  so  that  the  house  is  heated  only  when  

heating is  necessary.    This  can  save  energy  because  it  eliminates  unnecessary  use  of  the  furnace   during  warmer  winter  days.   Whole  House  Fan    

During the  renovations  process,  the  house  received  baffles,  roof  vents  and  an  attic  

fan to take care of the air flow issues. The house does have central air.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Water Solar  Thermal  Water    

The solar  hot  water  heater  was  purchased  from  Third  Sun  for  approximately  $4000.    The  

Ecohouse purchased  solar  installations  from  both  of  the  area's  solar  installers.    Southeast  Ohio  is   home  to  two  out  of  the  three  solar  installers  in  Ohio,  Dovetail  and  Third  Sun.    The  heater  uses  a   water/glycol  solution  to  prevent  the  pipes  from  freezing  during  the  winter.    The  system's  PV  pump   works  when  the  sun  is  shining.    When  purchasing  a  solar  product,  a  solar  hot  water  heater  is  a  good   investment  because  it  has  a  short  payback  time  of  only  five  to  seven  years.   Tankless  Water  Heater    

The on  demand  water  heater  uses  gas  to  heat  up  water  in  the  winter  if  the  solar  does  not  

reach 110  degrees.       Water  Conservation  

The  Ecohouse  residents  work  hard  to  conserve  water  both  by  using  water  conservation  

systems and  through  lifestyle  choices.    The  dishwasher  is  designed  to  be  .    The  shower  is  equipped   with  a  low-­‐flow  high-­‐pressure  showerhead  that  greatly  reduces  the  amount  of  water  consumed   from  showering.    Also,  residents  of  the  Ecohouse  collect  rainwater  for  use  in  their  organic  garden.    

Food Garden    

Aside from  driving,  food  is  the  most  energy  intensive  human  activity  on  a  per  person  basis.    

Much of  this  energy  goes  in  the  form  of  petroleum-­‐based  chemicals,  production  machinery,   packaging,  and  transportation.  The  Ecohouse  residents  choose  to  grow  some  of  their  own  food  in   their  organic  garden.    They  grow  low-­‐maintenance,  organic,  seasonal  crops.    The  garden  is   surrounded  by  a  solar-­‐powered  electric  fence  in  order  to  keep  deer  from  consuming  the  crops.     Residents  of  the  house  also  prefer  to    buy  from  the  farmer’s  market  in  for  the  same  reasons  that   they  grow  their  own  food.    

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Waste Heap  Composting    

The heap  compost  pile  has  diverted  about  90%  of  the  food  waste  from  the  Ecohouse  from  

going to  a  landfill.    Landfills  purposely  do  not  allow  waste  to  degrade,  and  so  maintaining  a   composting  system  allows  organic  waste  to  be  used  productively  on  a  garden  or  farm.    The  heap   composting  system  breaks  down  vegetation  using  bacterial  composting,  and  if  it  is  done  properly  it   does  not  produce  a  bad  odor.    The  bottom  of  the  heap  is  open  for  worms  to  come  up,  but  most  of  the   work  is  done  by  bacteria.    Residents  put  scraps  of  fruits,  vegetables,  eggshells,  and  small  scraps  of   bread  in  the  heap.    The  heap  compost  cannot  receive  any  meat  or  dairy,  nor  can  it  process  large   amounts  of  oily  foods.    Ecohouse  residents  add  newspaper  or  leaves  in  a  1  part  food  waste  to  3  or  4   parts  newspaper  ratio.   Worm  Composting    

A worm  composting  system  is  located  in  the  basement  of  the  Ecohouse.    The  framework  for  

the system  consists  of  a  series  of  bins  stacked  vertically  in  which  the  worms  reside.    As  they  process   the  food  waste  and  turn  it  into  compost,  they  travel  vertically  through  the  bins.    Moist  newspaper  is   added  to  the  bins  in  order  to  stabilize  moisture  for  the  worms.    Residents  add  half  of  a  pound  of   food  per  pound  of  worms.    The  worms  were  provided  by  Matt  Peters  and  the  bins  were  purchased   on  the  Internet.    The  worm  bins  produce  better  quality  compost  faster  than  the  heap  compost  does.     Recycling  and  Waste  Minimization    

Residents of  the  Ecohouse  participate  in  recycling  and  waste  minimization  practices.    The  

Ecohouse residents  sort  their  recyclables  into  paper,  plastic,  newspaper,  cardboard,  aluminum  and   steel.    They  send  less  materials  to  landfills  by  recycling,  composting,  purchasing  products  that  have   less  non-­‐recyclable  packaging,  and  by  using  reusable  plates,  cups,  utensils,  and  containers  for  daily   use  and  larger  events  like  potlucks.    

Sustainable Living   Green  Purchasing  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    

Many products  purchased  by  members  of  the  Ecohouse  are  sustainable  for  a  variety  of  

reasons.  Some  products  are  sustainable  because  they  come  from  local  producers  and  so  they   contribute  less  to  green  house  gas  emissions.    Other  items  used  by  Ecohouse  residents  are   secondhand  or  they  were  produced  with  environmentally-­‐friendly  materials.       Clothesline    

During the  spring,  summer,  and  fall  laundry  can  be  dried  using  the  solar  dryer  –  otherwise  

known as  a  clothesline  -­‐  located  at  the  rear  of  the  house.       Landscaping    

The Ecohouse  yard  has  many  trees  in  it  that  help  to  clean  the  air  and  sequester  carbon  

dioxide.  They  also  help  to  keep  the  temperature  of  the  house  cooler  in  the  summer,  which  reduces   the  amount  of  energy  needed  for  cooling.    Groundskeepers  have  greatly  reduced  the  number  of   times  that  they  spray  the  lawn  with  herbicides,  pesticides,  and  fertilizers  in  order  to  reduce  the   amount  of  chemical  runoff  that  contaminates  groundwater.    


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

OHIO Ecohouse     Resident  Application  and  Guidelines     The  mission  of  the  OHIO  Ecohouse  is  to  demonstrate  affordable  green  technology  and     sustainable  living  in  order  to  inform,  engage  and  inspire  both  residents  and  visitors.     The  OHIO  Ecohouse  is  not  just  a  place  -­‐-­‐  it  is  a  dynamic  educational  experience     which  promotes  critical  thinking  and  tangible  actions  toward  sustainability.     The  OHIO  Ecohouse  is  located  at  8133  Dairy  Lane,  Athens  OH  45701   More  information  about  the  Ecohouse  is  available  at     Application  &  Deadline:   Applications  for  residing  in  the  OHIO  Ecohouse  will  be  accepted  until  8  p.m.  on  Sunday,  March  18,   2012  for  the  following  lease  year  (August  1-­‐May  31).  Applications  may  be  obtained  online  at  the   University  Apartments  Website  (,  University  Apartments)  Online  Forms   section  or  the  Office  of  Sustainability  (     Interested  and  eligible  students  must  complete  a  comprehensive  application  that  lists  their   interests,  goals  and  past  experiences  as  it  relates  to  sustainable  living  as  well  as  agree  to  sign  a  10   month  lease  (August  1,  2012  –  May  31,  2013).  A  balance  of  graduate  and  undergraduate  students   (maximum  of  three)  will  share  the  living  space.    The  monthly  rent  for  each  room  is  $395.  Note:  This   rate  is  based  on  2011-­‐2012  lease  year  rate  and  is  subject  to  change.  Such  changes  are  based  on  board   approval.  Candidates  selected  for  Ecohouse  residency  will  be  notified  of  any  lease  changes  prior  to   signing  a  lease.  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide     Eligibility:   •

Students must  be  eligible  to  live  off  campus  by  having  either  90  credit  hours,  6  quarters  in   residency,  or  be  eligible  for  a  standard  exemption.  

All applicants  must  commit  to  upholding  the  residential  expectation  as  in  any  other   University  owned  apartment.      

Completed application,  essay  and  references.  

Agree to  all  terms  and  conditions  of  the  lease  and  student  lifestyle  guidelines  listed  on  the   following  page.  

Please  Note:  The  Ecohouse  has  three  (3)  single-­‐occupancy  rooms  available.    Multiple  residents  are  not   permitted  in  single  rooms.  Each  individual  wishing  to  live  in  the  Ecohouse  must  submit  a  separate   application.    Additionally,  no  resident  is  permitted  to  house  pets  of  any  kind  in  the  home  or  on  the   Ecohouse  property.     Selection  Process:   Selection  is  a  competitive  process.  Applications  and  essay  of  eligible  students  will  be  reviewed  by  a   selection  committee  on  a  rolling  basis  with  interviews  held  to  select  final  candidates.  Current   tenants  of  Ecohouse  will  be  invited  to  interview  the  final  candidates  and  make  recommendations  to   the  committee.    

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   OHIO  Ecohouse  Student  Lifestyle  Guidelines   •

Residents will  follow  Ohio  University  Student  Code  of  Conduct.  

Residents will  minimize  consumption,  refraining  from  accumulating  unnecessary  products.  

Residents will  work  to  minimize  waste,  using  durable  goods  in  place  of  disposables  and   reusing  materials  whenever  possible.  

Residents will  sort  the  waste  that  is  generated  appropriately,  emphasizing  recycling  and   composting  whenever  possible.  

Residents will  work  to  increase  self-­‐sufficiency  by  growing/harvesting  their  own  food.    The   Ecohouse  garden  will  serve  as  a  Community  Garden  space  for  on-­‐campus  residents.     Ecohouse  residents  are  responsible  for  engaging  in  work  days  with  volunteers  and  offering   them  harvested  produce  as  appropriate.  

Residents will  agree  with  a  house  consensus  before  planting  new  crops  or  making   landscaping  changes.  

Residents will  buy  local  first,  especially  food,  and  consider  lifecycle  costs  in  all  purchases.  

Residents will  emphasize  the  use  of  low  impact  chemicals  for  things  like  cleaning,  (such  as   bio-­‐degradable  soaps)  and,  whenever  possible,  will  avoid  the  use  of  unnecessary  chemicals   altogether.  

As this  is  a  living  and  learning  experience,  residents  are  expected  to  assist  with   maintenance  of  sustainable  technology,  when  appropriate.    Residents  will  maintain  an   agreed  upon,  equitable  division  and  distribution  of  labor.  

Residents will  keep  a  written  record  of  all  projects  and  experiments,  and  their  results,  for   continuous  improvement  of  the  home.  

Residents will  maintain  an  appropriate  exterior  house  presentation.  Interior  furniture   should  be  inside.    The  Director  of  Sustainability  will  serve  as  an  authority  to  residents   regarding  appropriate  appearance.  

Residents will  not  litter  and  will  maintain  a  litter  free  property.  

Residents will  maintain  cleanliness  and  organization  of  their  belongings  to  accommodate   tours.  

Residents will  use  low  impact  transportation  whenever  possible,  such  as  a  bike.  

Residents will  appropriately  conserve  and  recycle  resources  such  as  water,  electricity,  heat,   space,  and  goods.  This  means  reducing  waste  both  directly  and  indirectly.  The  residents  will   work  to  generate  ideas  and  procedures  to  increase  self-­‐sufficiency  with  respect  to  resource   use.  

Upon moving  out  of  the  Ecohouse,  residents  are  expected  to  completely  empty  the  home  of   personal  belongings  and  complete  a  “Move-­‐Out  Checklist”  with  the  Director  of   Sustainability.  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Additional  Expectations:   •

Residents will  enroll  in  a  one  credit  “Ecohouse  Class”  that  will  meet  for  one  hour  per  week   throughout  the  duration  of  the  academic  year.     o

This class  will  require  that  residents  establish  sustainability-­‐themed  projects  and   devote  a  minimum  of  14  hours  per  semester  to  such  projects.      


Meetings will  be  used  to  discuss  matters  relating  to  the  house,  projects  and   residents’  lifestyles.      

Residents will  work  with  the  Office  of  Sustainability  to  offer  regular  Ecohouse  tours.  

Residents will  serve  as  hosts  to  Ecohouse  Open  House  and  Work  Day  events  as  needed.  

Residents will  work  with  the  Director  of  Sustainability  to  report  any  health,  safety  or   maintenance  concerns  so  as  to  ensure  a  safe  living  and  learning  environment  for  Ecohouse   residents  and  guests.  

  Questions  should  be  directed  to:   Annie  Laurie  Cadmus  -­‐  Director,  Office  of  Sustainability  -­‐  


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    

OHIO UNIVERSITY  DAIRY  LANE  ECO  HOUSE  AGREEMENT   One  Year  Lease  2012-­‐2013     THIS LEASE, made 1/13/2012 between the landlord, Ohio University (hereinafter referred to as “University”), and ****** (hereinafter referred to as Tenant): WITNESSETH; That, University leases to tenant the house (Bedroom )designated at 8133 Dairy Lane, in the City of Athens, State of Ohio, hereinafter called Bedroom _____ Tenant has exclusive use of Bedroom ____. Tenant also has use in common with other tenants of the household of the following rooms: the living room, kitchen and any bathroom(s) located within the House hereinafter referred to as the Premises for the term of 11 months beginning on August 1, 2012 and ending on June 30, 2013 at the current rent of $4,499.00 payable in monthly installments of $409.00 on the first day of each month. This lease supercedes any policy at Ohio University. Tenant:




1. THE TERM TENANT The term “Tenant” shall refer to person named above and all persons signing a lease as Tenants. The liability and responsibility of each such person shall be joint and several, which means that each person may be held responsible for all other persons signing a lease in addition to themselves. Notice given by the University to any person named as Tenant, or notice by any tenant to the University shall bind all persons signing this lease as Tenants. 2. RENT AND SECURITY DEPOSIT Tenant agrees to pay the University four hundred nine ($409.00) the monthly rent set forth above, on the first day of each month; in advance at the Cashier’s Office in Chubb Hall. Tenant further agrees to pay a late charge of five (5) percent per month of the amount of rent that is in default on the tenth day of each month. If any check for rent is returned to the University for insufficient funds or other reasons, late charges will continue until rent is actually paid by Tenant. Late fees will continue to be compiled for each month past due rent is unpaid. When acceptance of an assignment for house has been made, Tenant agrees to pay the University the sum of four hundred nine ($409.00) to be held by the University until the date of occupancy by the Tenant. Failure to occupy the leased premises on the specified date shall result in a forfeiture of the deposit. Upon occupancy of the house, the entire sum of the deposit shall continue to be held by the University as a security deposit. Once occupancy has been

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   established, the return of the Tenant’s security deposit shall be governed by Section 2, paragraph 2 & 3 of this lease agreement. Tenant agrees to pay the security deposit set forth in Paragraph 2 above. The security deposit shall be held by the University as security for the payment of all rent and other amounts due from Tenant to the University, for the Tenant’s performance of this lease, and against any damages caused to the house, by Tenant, Tenant’s family, or guests. The security deposit is to be equal to one (1) month’s rent. Tenant understands and agrees that the security deposit may not be applied as rent or against any other amount due from Tenant to the University and that the monthly rent will be paid each month, including the last month of the lease term. Within thirty (30) days following termination of the lease, the University shall return the security deposit less any allowable deductions from it together with a written itemization of such amounts, to Tenant by check, and mailed to a forwarding address which must be furnished by the Tenant in writing. The amount of any security deposit shall be adjusted as appropriate if Tenant transfers to a more or less expensive apartment

3. USE In addition to use as a personal residence, tenant has agreed to use the residence for educational purposes as defined in paragraph 12. A & B below. The right to occupy under the terms of this Lease Agreement are not to be assigned or otherwise granted to any other person by Tenant. Guests are permitted for no longer than 14 days and that anyone residing in the house past this 14 day period will be considered a full time resident and the tenant will be found in violation of the lease agreement. We reserve the right to conduct a quarterly inspection for the purpose of evaluating the use and occupancy of the house. Tenant shall surrender possession of the premises to the University at the termination of the lease in as good of a condition as when taken, with the exception of ordinary wear and tear. This lease confers no rights to Tenant to use for any purpose any University property other than the interior of the house leased, except the walks and roadways giving access thereto and such other areas, if any, as the University may from time to time designate for the use of Tenants. When the use by Tenant of any other portion of University property is permitted, it shall be subject to the rules and regulations established by the University.

4. UTILITIES University will pay all charges for heat, water, electricity, sewer, trash collection, basic cable and Ethernet. Tenant will pay for telephone. Tenant agrees that the University shall have the right to temporarily stop the service of gas, electricity, heating of water, heat, basic cable, Internet, or water in the event of an accident affecting the same, or to facilitate repairs of

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   alterations made in the house or elsewhere. University agrees to give Tenant notice of a stoppage when it is reasonable to do so.

5. DELIVERY OF POSSESSION BY OHIO UNIVERSITY If, due to circumstances beyond the University’s control, the house shall not be ready for occupancy at the beginning of the term, this lease shall nevertheless remain in effect and the rent shall be abated proportionately until the house is ready, and the University shall not be liable for any expenses incurred by the Tenant because of the nonavailability of the house.

6. DAMAGE BY FIRE If the house is damaged by fire or other casualty, the University shall repair it within a reasonable time and rent shall continue unless the casualty renders the house un-tenantable in which case this lease shall terminate and Tenant, upon payment of all rent to the date the house is surrendered, shall not be liable for any further rent. If only a portion of the house is rendered untenantable, the Tenant may with mutual agreement of the University choose to continue in possession, or terminate Tenant’s obligation under this lease agreement.


Tenant agrees  that  the  University  shall  not  be  liable  for  personal  or  other  property  damage  or   personal  injury  occurring  in  the  house  or  on  or  about  University  property  or  grounds  upon  which   the  house  is  located  regardless  of  cause  unless  the  damage  or  injury  results  from  the  University’s   negligence.    Tenant  is  advised  that  Tenant  should,  at  Tenant’s  own  cost,  purchase  Renter’s   Homeowner’s  Insurance.    Tenant  acknowledges  that  University  does  not  carry  any  insurance  on   Tenant’s  personal  possessions.    Ohio  University  neither  insures  nor  is  responsible  for  loss  or   damage  to  student  personal  property.    Low  deductible,  low  cost  insurance  for  student   property  is  easily  located  on  the  Internet  by  searching  "student  personal  property   insurance"  or  by  contacting  your  insurance  agent.  

8. RIGHT OF ENTRY The University, or any person authorized by it, with the prior consent of the Tenant obtained at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance, shall have the right to enter the house at a reasonable time to inspect, make ordinary and

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   necessary repairs, decorations, or alterations, to enforce this lease, and, after notice of termination is given, to show the house to prospective tenants. However, Tenant’s consent shall not be necessary in case of emergency. Tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent for the University to enter the house. Requests by Tenant for maintenance or housekeeping waives the 24 hour notification.

9. REASSIGNMENT OF TENANTS Tenant agrees that the University shall reserve the right to reassign any and all Tenants of the house to new units, in the event of a conflict between tenants or necessity due to maintenance problems. Tenants cannot refuse reassignment. Reassignments will only be completed in extreme circumstances and with as little inconvenience to the Tenant as possible.


tenant shall fail to pay rent, or any other sum, to the University when due, or breach any other provisions of

this lease, or shall abandon the premises, the University may, in addition to all other remedies provided by law, including actions of eviction, void and terminate this lease, re-enter into possession, and sue for and recover all rent or damages due the University resulting from Tenant’s default.

11. LEASE VIOLATIONS AND TERMINATION OF LEASE If any of the representations made by Tenant in Tenant’s lease application or this Lease Agreement are misleading or untrue, or if Tenant or Tenant’s family guests or guests violate any provisions of this lease or any rule or regulation herein imposed, or if Tenant violates the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct, then University may treat such representations or lease violations as a breach of the lease agreement and forfeiture of Tenant’s possession of the premises may be initiated. The University may require Tenant to vacate the premises following a hearing in which the University determined that the Tenant violated a term of this lease agreement or violated the University’s Code of Conduct or other policies or procedures prior to the hearing. The Tenant shall receive written notice of the alleged violation or breach of the lease and the Tenant will be given an opportunity to be heard at the hearing.


Tenant, Tenant’s family, agents, and guests shall observe and comply with the University Student Code of Conduct and rules and regulations set forth below in this lease, and such other rules and regulations that the University may adopt.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   A. Tenant is expected to work in conjunction with the Office of Sustainability on projects that are designed to create a sustainable living and learning environment. B. Tenant agrees to permit and conduct tours of the house and the surrounding property throughout the development of the project. New initiatives will occur constantly, thus the tours and educational opportunities will be developed on a continual basis. C. If the house is found to be over occupied, a termination of all lease agreements will be made within a prescribed

amount of time not less than 30 days.

D. Tenant is responsible for the care and preservation of all University-owned property in the house. This includes, but is not limited to: furnishings, stove, refrigerator, blinds, counters, etc. E. Tenant must assist and cooperate with the University maintenance department in caring for the premises. Any damage to the dwelling or its facilities or equipment should be reported promptly to the University Apartments Offices. The University will make all alterations, additions, changes or repairs to the house and to its equipment. Failure to report a maintenance problem could show negligence on the part of the Tenant and result in cost for repair to be levied against the Tenant. F.

Tenant is expected to take every precaution to prevent fires. Tenant may not cover or remove batteries to disconnect smoke detectors. The University is not liable for any loss, claim or damage to personal property of the Tenant resulting from fire or an act of God. Tenant may be held liable for fire damage caused by tenant, family, or guests.

G. The tenant is responsible for the cleanliness of the house, as well as for the adjacent porches and sidewalks. Bicycles must be registered with OUPD and are not to be attached to the railings, down spouting or left in front of the house. No other furnishings (couches, easy chairs, carpets, laundry items, sundry items, etc.) should be left in front of the house. Clothes should not be hung on railings or shrubbery. H. Rubbish must be disposed of in the appropriate trash receptacle designated for the houses. Trash is not to be left sitting outside of the house. Personal trash containers are not to be left outside by Tenants. Tenants will be warned once about leaving trash setting outside, and each infraction after the initial time will result in a fine of $25.00. I.

Boisterous parties or other activities which may disturb other Tenants of the houses are not permitted. Quiet hours are in effect at all times. The definition of quiet hours for houses is that no noise should be able to be heard outside the house.


Tenants may use only those locks furnished by the University. A lost key will result in a lock change and a replacement charge will be assessed.

K. Tenants may not: a.

Cover, remove batteries, or disconnect the smoke detectors.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   b.

Affix wallpaper to the walls or put decals, scotch tape or any other adhesive material, which leaves a mark on the wall or door.


Adjust, tamper with, or alter any mechanical, electrical or plumbing equipment furnished by the University.


Keep pets, including cats, dogs, or other animals on the premises.

A fee will be assessed and

immediate removal of the pet will be mandated. e.

Put additional clotheslines on the premises.


Solicit funds for any drive or pursue any business on the premises without the written approval of an Ohio University Administrator.


Lease the premises or accommodate roomers, boarders, or relatives.


Have a washer, dryer, satellite, portable AC or heater, or dishwasher in the house not supplied by OU. If appliances are found to be in the house, Tenants will be fined $200 and the lease may be terminate


Disregard written University policies as detailed in the Student Code of Conduct.


Keep water-containing furniture in the premises; store, install or operate unvented portable kerosene heaters; obstruct common areas with their personal property.


Smoking is not permitted inside the house or in any structures on the property.

L. Tenant who graduates or leaves Ohio University prior to the end of the lease year are permitted to terminate their lease with a 30-day advance notice to the office. If less than 30 days is provided, rent will be charged to the date required for 30-day notice. M. Tenants must check-out with the manager when vacating their house. Failure to check out will also result in a $25 charge. You will need to allow at least one-half hour for check out. If occupant checks out of their house during a weekend, they must make advance arrangements with the Bromley Hall Office. Check out times are between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. only. N. All appropriate keys, issued to the Tenant when occupying the house, must be returned to the manager at the time of check out. Tenants who do not return all keys signed out to the house will be charged for a lock change for security reasons. O. Tenant must give their forwarding address to the office at the time of, or prior to, the time of check out in order for the security deposit to be refunded. Refunds will not be processed the same day as check out. P.

Tenant must clear their Housing accounts with the Bursar’s Office and present proof of payment before vacating the premises.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Q. Tenants found in violation of state, city, or University regulations will be required to correct the problem(s). If infractions continue to exist, occupants may have the lease terminated or have fines levied against them. Fines will not exceed $50.00 per infraction. R. If Tenant or Tenant’s agents and/or guests engage in, permit or commit any drug related crime on or about the premises, Tenant will be deemed to have substantially and materially breached this Lease Agreement and such breach shall be grounds to immediately terminate Tenant’s occupancy of the premises. S.

University has installed at least one smoke detector in the premises and that said detector is in good condition and proper working order as of the beginning of the lease term. Tenant agrees not to obstruct or tamper with said detector or otherwise permit the detector to be obstructed or hampered with for any reason whatsoever. Tenant further agrees to test the detector periodically and to report any malfunction therewith promptly to University.



Each Apartment door and bedroom door is equipped with a deadbolt. Under no circumstances may tenant change any of the locks on the premises. Furniture may be arranged to suit the comfort of the occupants, The University’s furnishings may never be stored nor removed from the house without the approval of the Ohio University Housing.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   QUARTERLY INSPECTION OF HOUSE T. University apartment personnel will conduct an inspection of the house on a quarterly basis. The resident will be notified of the date at least 24 hours prior to the inspection. The items to be inspected include but are not limited to: kitchen, bathroom, stove, refrigerator, blinds, windows, tile walls, cabinets, use of electrical outlets, heating fixtures, and sanitary conditions of the house. If the resident fails to pass the quarterly inspection, he/she may be subject to monthly inspections.

In witness whereof, the parties have executed this lease agreement the date and year first above written.



(Residential Housing Staff Signature)








Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   OHIO  Ecohouse  Application  Cover  Page  

Name________________________________________          Phone  Number  (______)________________  

E-­‐mail ______________________________________________________________________________    

Local Address  ________________________________________________________________________  

Permanent Address  ____________________________________________________________________       Major  _______________________________  

Minor/certificate ____________________________  

Credit hours  expected  at  end  of  academic  year:    _________      Anticipated  date  of  graduation:  ________   Phone  Number  (______)__________________________     Please  list  your  past  coursework,  membership  in  associated  organizations,  community  service   projects,  or  other  information  that  will  support  your  application.    A  bulleted  list  is  acceptable.  Use   additional  pages,  if  necessary.     _______________________________________________________________________________________     _______________________________________________________________________________________     _______________________________________________________________________________________   I  have  read  the  “OHIO  Ecohouse  Resident  Application  and  Guidelines”  document  and  agree  to  follow   the  guidelines  and  lease  expectations  if  selected  to  reside  in  the  house.     _______________________________________________________________          ___________________   Signature  


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide     Please  attach  the  following  to  this  application  cover  page:   •

1,000 word  essay  stating  why  you  would  like  to  live  in  the  Ohio  University  Ecohouse  and   how  your  knowledge  and  experiences  would  positively  contribute  to  the  living   environment.      

Three (3)  completed  “OHIO  Ecohouse  Applicant  Reference  Form”  documents.    References   can  come  from  University  professors,  directors  or  officers  of  associated  organizations,  or   past  supervisors  from  an  employment  position.    These  documents  can  be   mailed/emailed/faxed  separately,  if  needed.      

Return  application  to:    

Annie Laurie  Cadmus,  Director  of  Sustainability  

University Service  Center,  49  Factory  Street,  Athens  OH  45701, (740)  593-­‐0026      


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

ES 4900(section 8477)/6910

Ecohouse Seminar Time: 1-2pm Days: Wednesdays Room: OHIO Ecohouse 1-3 Hour Credit

Facilitator: Annie Laurie Cadmus Office: Office of Sustainability E-Mail: Office Phone: 740-593-0026

Course Description This seminar is designed to introduce residents of the OHIO Ecohouse to the project’s mission and history, as well as provide residents and the Director of Sustainability with a regular meeting time in which to discuss house developments and issues.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Course Objectives The specific objectives of this course are: 1. To familiarize participants with the guiding philosophy and pedagogy behind the project. 2. To provide training in leading and adapting the Ecohouse tour for specific audiences. 3. To expose participants to a range of sustainability topics relevant to the project. 4. To provide a forum for questions and comments regarding life in the Ecohouse. 5. To launch residents on projects designed to enhance the Ecohouse experience for residents and visitors.

Additional Materials: There are no required texts for this course. Participants will be asked to read journal articles or book excerpts as they become relevant throughout the quarter.

Expectations: 1. Attendance and Participation: Because both national and Ohio University studies show a direct relationship between classroom attendance and grade performance, and since much of the course involves discussion and active participation, you are expected to attend every class.

In addition to class attendance, each resident is required to complete 20 hours of project time over the course of the semester. This work can be directed toward project research and implementation.

Tour hours should be recorded in such a way as to allow you to distinguish them from other hours spent on research, projects, etc. You will be compensated for tour, open house, and public presentation hours through Workforce. You will receive $8 per tour hour as an honorarium for your involvement. There is no maximum or minimum number of tour hours you can be compensated for over the course of the semester.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   It is expected that you will make yourself available for all open houses and tours as your schedule permits. Tours/Presentations are not to exceed one hour in length and Open House events are not to exceed three hours unless otherwise pre-approved by the Director of Sustainability.

You are required to maintain a current log of your hours at all times and to discuss your progress at each class session. You are highly encouraged to spread your hours out over the course of the semester rather than expect to put in a majority of them in the last week of the semester. 2. Promptness: a. Because it is unfair and disrespectful to your classmates for you to arrive late to class, you are expected to arrive on time. You will be counted tardy (and graded accordingly) if you arrive late. b. As in your other classes in college, all assignments and papers should be turned in when due. 3. Preparedness: a. You are expected to have read any reading assignments prior to class and to bring your textbook (if applicable) to each class session. If you haven’t read the material, neither you nor the class will benefit as much from the discussion. b. Each assignment should include your name, the date of the assignment, and the title of the assignment. 4. Ethics: a. You are expected to be courteous and respectful of your instructors and fellow students. b. You are expected to adhere to the standards of academic integrity. 5. Academic Integrity “As an academic community, Ohio University holds the intellectual and personal growth of the individual to be a central purpose. Its programs are designed to broaden perspectives, enrich awareness, deepen understanding, establish disciplined habit of thought, prepare for meaningful careers, and thus to help develop individuals who are informed, responsible, and productive citizens” (Ohio University Mission Statement). Part of this process includes the expectation that students will be honest and

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   forthright in their academic endeavors. All forms of academic misconduct are prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct, and will be dealt with accordingly and with the utmost seriousness. Academic Misconduct is a Code A violation of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct. Academic Misconduct refers to dishonesty in examinations (cheating), presenting the ideas or the writing of someone else as your own (plagiarism), or knowingly furnishing false information to the university. If you are found to be involved in academic misconduct, you will receive an “F” grade on the project or for the class and a referral to the Director of Judiciaries with the possible sanctions of suspension or expulsion. If you would like additional information about Academic Misconduct or the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct, consult

Grading and Evaluation: You will receive a letter grade for this course. Be aware that you will not be allowed to retake this course for a better grade at a later time. You are strongly encouraged to monitor your own progress in this and other courses.

Grading Scale (by %)
























below 60%

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Fall Semester Assignment/Item


Total Points


Residents will receive point deductions for being tardy or

70 Points

absent. 5 points per week. Participation

Residents are expected to prepare for class and engage in the

70 Points

session activity/conversation. 5 points per week. Assignment #1

Assignments will be created throughout the course to assist

(Anticipated: Waste

with information retention as deemed appropriate. Grades


will be assigned based on complete and thorough responses to

20 Points

questions or assignments. Assignment #2

Assignments will be created throughout the course to assist

(Anticipated: Food

with information retention as deemed appropriate. Grades


will be assigned based on complete and thorough responses to

20 Points

questions or assignments. Assignment #3 (Anticipated: Environmental Leadership) Tour Participation

Assignments will be created throughout the course to assist

20 Points

with information retention as deemed appropriate. Grades will be assigned based on complete and thorough responses to questions or assignments.

Residents will be orally quizzed on tour features during the

20 Points

Tour Review lesson and graded according to their responses. Final Take Home

Residents will be graded on complete and thoughtful

100 Points

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   “Exam”

responses to questions. 320 Points

Spring Semester Assignment/Item


Total Points


Residents will receive point deductions for being tardy or

70 Points

absent. 5 points per week. Participation

Residents are expected to prepare for class and engage in the

70 Points

session activity/conversation. 5 points per week. Assignment #1

Assignments will be created throughout the course to assist

20 Points

with information retention as deemed appropriate. Grades will be assigned based on complete and thorough responses to questions or assignments. Presentation

Residents will be asked to present on their sustainable topic

40 points

of choice for 30 minutes. Presentations will be graded on thorough research, proper communication of information, clear/coherent communication style and preparedness. Green Dream Job Search

Residents will be asked to utilize information gained during

20 points

the Green Dream Jobs lesson and engage in their own dream job search. They will be asked to present their findings and establish a plan based on lessons learned. Final Take Home

Residents will be graded on complete and thoughtful


responses to questions.

100 Points

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   320 Points

Each Class Session will follow the following general agenda: 1pm-1:05pm: House updates: Residents are asked to provide a list of any maintenance items. 1:05-1:15pm: Announcements: Residents are asked to provide short updates on project progress. 1:15-1:45: Session Lesson: Participants will engage in the weekly lesson plan 1:45-2:00: Wrap-Up, Reflection, Assignments Fall Course Schedule: Week One (August 29): House Rules, expectations, history of the house, tour of house features Week Two (September 5): Tour Training: Ecohouse and Compost Facility Week Three (September 12): Green Cleaning Workshop Week Four (September 19): NO FORMAL CLASS: Environmental Leadership In lieu of class this week, residents will be asked to meet with Hannah Simonetti Week Five (September 26): NO FORMAL CLASS: Canning and Preserving In lieu of class this week, residents will be asked to participate in one of two canning sessions at the house: September 25, 3-5pm or September 26, 2:30-5pm Week Six (October 3): Food Security Week Seven (October 10): Communicating Sustainability & Personal Sustainability Week Eight (October 17): Wood Pellet Furnace Seasonal Prep Week Nine (October 24): NO FORMAL CLASS In lieu of class this week, the Ecohouse kitchen will be used for a food cycle servicelearning event on October 25, 12-5pm. Week Ten (October 31): Waste Management Week Eleven (November 7): Dream Green Job Search

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Week Twelve (November 14): Seasonal Sustainability Week Thirteen (November 21): NO CLASS Week Fourteen (November 28): Dream Green Job Search results Week Fifteen (December 5): Semester in Review & Reflection Presentations Final Exam (due December 13): In lieu of a final exam, participants are expected to complete the Take Home “Exam” (provided in this syllabus) and submit it electronically to no later than December 13, 2012 at 12pm. Late submissions will be reduced 5 points for every day it is late. Spring Course Schedule: Week One (January 14): Sustaining a Sustainable Lifestyle Week Two (January 21): Environmental Justice Week Three (January 28): Resident Presentation #1 (Presenter: ________________) Week Four (February 4): Resident Presentation #2 (Presenter: ________________) Week Five (February 11): Resident Presentation #3 (Presenter: ________________) Week Six (February 18): Permaculture Planning & Culinary and Medicinal herbs Week Seven (February 25): Alternative Energy Week Eight (March 4): NO CLASS (spring break) Week Nine (March 11): Wood Pellet Furnace Cleaning Week Ten (March 18): Week Eleven (March 25): Transportation and Land Use Week Twelve (April 1): Setting up a Sustainable Home Week Thirteen (April 8): Move Out expectations Week Fourteen (April 15):

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Week Fifteen (April 22): A year in review Final Exam (due May 2): In lieu of a final exam, participants are expected to complete the Take Home “Exam” (provided in this syllabus) and submit it electronically to no later than May 2, 2013 at 12pm. Late submissions will be reduced 5 points for every day it is late.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   OHIO Ecohouse Fall 2012 Final “Exam” – Take Home Assessment Name:

Oak ID:



Please respond to the following questions by evaluating your work toward fulfilling the expectations of this course. Provide examples when they come to mind.

1. Did you connect with the project beyond tours and weekly meetings? Please explain. (15 points)

2. Please complete the table below to verify your completed project hours (20/semester): Date

(15 points)

Project Name

Activity Description

# of Hours

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

3. Please assess the quality of your participation in weekly meetings. (15 points)

4. To what extent did your approach to the tour evolve and improve? (15 points)

5. Have you devoted time and thought toward developing a deeper understanding of sustainability issues? Please explain. (20 points)

6. What do you feel is the value of the Ecohouse project and what part do you believe it plays in the University’s overall sustainability efforts? (15 points)

7. Self-Evaluation: Based on your performance this semester and your responses to the above questions please provide a recommended “score” for your letter grade this semester (refer to the grade scale in the syllabus). Explain your score. (5 points)

Return typed answers to Annie Laurie Cadmus, Director of Sustainability, by December 13th at 12pm.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   OHIO Ecohouse Spring 2013 Final “Exam” – Take Home Assessment Name:

Oak ID:



Please respond to the following questions by evaluating your work toward fulfilling the expectations of this course. Provide examples..

1. Please complete the table below to verify your completed project hours (20/semester): Date

(15 points)

Project Name

Activity Description

# of Hours

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   2. Please reflect on why you originally applied to live in the Ecohouse. What skills or knowledge did you wish to obtain or share? What experiences did you hope to have? Do you feel those expectations have been met? Explain. (20 points)

3. Reflect on your role as a resident of the Ecohouse and a roommate to your peers. (Sample questions to ask yourself: Do you view these 2 roles to be separate from one another? What have you done well? What have you learned? What do you still hope to learn/offer in future living situations? What expectations did you have of others in the house and were those expectations reasonable? Were you a sustainability advocate or role model for your peers?) (20 points)

4. Please reflect on the past year… What did you learn? What did you contribute? What experiences were most valuable? What do you feel was missing from the seminar sessions (and, what sessions were helpful)? (20 points)

5. Help us improve this experience --- If you were to offer advice to next year’s residents, what would you tell them? If you were to offer advice to the Director of Sustainability, what would you tell her? (20 points)

6. Self-Evaluation: Based on your performance this semester and your responses to the above questions, please provide a recommended “score” for your letter grade this semester (refer to the grade scale in the syllabus). Explain your score. (5 points)

Please feel free to offer any additional feedback regarding the Ecohouse project. (not for a grade)

Return typed answers to Annie Laurie Cadmus, Director of Sustainability, by May 2nd at 12pm.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Readings: Defining Sustainability: .pdf

Transformative Action :

Civic Engagement:

Sustainable Leadership:


Food Security:

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Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Let the Ecohouse be your guide when it comes to living sustainably! It is already equipped with many remarkable technologies that can help you reach your fullest potential for learning. Along with Ecohouse features, small practices such as composting, recycling and conserving water can help you drastically reduce your waste and impact on the environment. You will also learn how to successfully maintain the Ecohouse’s features adding to your skill set in sustainable living. When you part ways with the house, hopefully you gained life skills that you would not of been granted the opportunity to learn anywhere else. This is the section of the binder that shows you how each feature works and how to trouble shoot, should there be a problem. The house features are organized into category: electric, water heating, compost, etc.; don’t forget to look back in the administrative section of this binder to obtain all emergency maintenance contacts. House features to be maintained by OHIO ECOHOUSE residents: • Solar Thermal Array • Solar Array • Gray Water Features • A-MAIZE-ing Furnace • Rain Catchment System • Composting Varieties • Programmable Thermostat • Maintenance of Energy Star Appliances

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide                      


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

DOVETAIL SOLAR AND WIND: OU Ecohouse Solar Panel Seasonal Maintenance Instructions The solar panel array at the OU Ecohouse is designed to be raised and lowered throughout the year to catch the sun’s rays as efficiently as possible. During the summer months, when the sun is higher in the sky, the array will be at a lower angle, around 25 degrees. When the sun is lower in the sky, in the fall, winter and spring, the array will be at a higher angle, around 40 degrees. The vertical racking bars are marked at the places that set the array at the proper angle. So all you need to do is move it up in the late summer to the lower marking, and down in the late spring to the upper marking. (This makes sense if you are looking at the rack) The dates following are not exact, but guidelines: May 2 – Move the racking bars down so that they are at the upper marking on the inside bar. The panels will be at a much lower (flatter) angle. August 2 – Move the racking bars up so that they are at the lower marking on the inside bar. The panels will be at a much higher (steeper) angle. Any questions, call Dovetail Solar & Wind at 740-767-4070

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Solar (PV) Panels

The Need for Solar Cells Solar cells are created using simple technologies that harnesses the natural physical processes of objects and their environments. Some inorganic materials, such as silicon, can be excited from the light emitted by the sun. This excitation creates a chain of reactions that convert light energy into electrical energy. The availability of such technology is necessary for improving the world’s current atmospheric and economic states. The development of solar cell use has been stimulated by many societal needs. Among the most important are: •

the need for long lasting, low maintenance sources of electricity, that are suitable for places remote from main electricity grid and from people. Some examples include satellites, remote site water pumping, outback telecommunications stations and lighthouses.

the need for non-polluting and silent sources of electricity; eg tourist sites, caravans and campers.

the need for a convenient and flexible source of small amounts of power; eg calculators, watches, light meters and cameras.

the need for renewable and sustainable power, as a means of reducing global warming.

The preference for many people in grid connected areas to obtain their energy services from environmentally benign sources.

The growing awareness of the sun’s ability to provide energy has led the advancement of solar cell designs and increased efficiency. It has also increased the demand for this renewable resource that is not harmful to us or the environment.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Solar Cell Origins The 1950’s marked the distribution of the first practical solar cells. People have been using alternative methods for energy production for over 6 decades, but the scientific investigation of photovoltaic phenomenon has been going on for over a century. In 1839 Henri Becquerel, a French scientist discovered that shining a light onto certain chemical solutions produced an electric current. Metal selenium was the first material that the photovoltaic effect was observed in. This was used for many years to power light meters, which only required small amounts of energy.

Solar Cell Structure and Materials A solar cell converts sunlight into electricity. The sun emits high energy ultraviolet waves that have the ability to excite the silicon material that composes a solar cell. This excitation creates energy in the form of electron flow, which can then be utilized for electrical purposes. The solar cells that you see on calculators and satellites are photovoltaic cells or modules. As the word implies, (photo = light, voltaic = electricity), these cells are able to convert sunlight directly into electricity. Photovoltaic cells are thin glass-like plates of silicon material that produce electricity between the front and back surface when sunlight falls on the front surface. Silicon happens to be a very shiny

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   material making it very reflective. Photons that are reflected can't be used by the cell. For that reason, an antireflective coating is applied to the top of the cell to reduce reflection losses to less than 5 percent. The final step is the glass cover plate that protects the cell from the elements. PV modules are made by connecting several cells (usually 36) in series and parallel to achieve useful levels of voltage and current, and putting them in a sturdy frame complete with a glass cover and positive and negative terminals on the back

At the Eco-house the front face of the PV cells is a tempered glass cover plate, manufactured for improved light transmission, which increases the overall efficiency of the conversion. The back face is multi-layered Tedlar. A crystal silicon layer lies between the two faces that is designed to minimize reflection of incident light with an antireflective coating. The layering of these three materials enables the generation of electricity from the suns ultra-violet rays. The cells in the panels are connected redundantly to ensure circuit reliability.

Physical Phenomena: Light Electricity

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   A certain portion of the incident photons are absorbed by the electrons in the silicon semiconductor. If the photons give the electron enough energy the electron becomes a conduction electron and can be used to carry energy in the form of electricity. The energy knocks electrons loose, allowing them to flow freely. PV cells also all have one or more electric fields that act to force electrons freed by light absorption to flow in a certain direction. This flow of electrons is a current, and by placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the PV cell, we can draw that current off to use externally. The sun produces photons in a range of energies with the majority in the range of 1 to 2 electron volts. The typical energy needed to create a conduction electron in photo-active semiconductor solar cells is about 1.2 electron volts. It turns out that about 75% of the sun's photons have an energy greater than this minimum energy.

The Element Silicon Silicon, being a unique element, has special chemical properties. The properties are enhanced when it exists in its crystalline form. An atom of silicon has 14 electrons that are arranged in three different sub orbital shells. The first two shells (Fig 1), those closest to the center, are completely filled with electrons. The outer shell (orange), however, is only half full. There is enough space for eight electrons, but it only has four. A silicon atom will always look for ways to fill up its last shell because this makes it more stable. To do this, it will share electrons with four of its neighbor silicon atoms. It's like every atom holds hands with its neighbors, except that in this case, each atom has four hands joined to four neighbors. That's what forms the crystalline structure, and that structure turns out to be important to a silicon PV cell.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Fig 1. Crystalline Structure of Silicon

It turns out that pure crystalline silicon is a poor conductor of electricity because none of its electrons are free to move about, as electrons are in good conductors such as copper. Instead, the electrons are all locked in the crystalline structure. The silicon in a solar cell is modified slightly so that it will work as a solar cell.

Modified Silicon in Solar Cells: Chemistry A solar cell has silicon with impurities, or other atoms mixed in with the silicon atoms. The presence of impurities effectively changes the way things work in the silicon atom. We usually think of impurities as something undesirable, but a solar cell wouldn't work without them. These impurities are put there on purpose. Consider silicon with an atom of phosphorous here and there, maybe one for every million silicon atoms. Phosphorous has five electrons in its outer shell (Blue, Fig 2), not four. It still bonds with its silicon neighbor atoms, but in a sense, the phosphorous has one electron that doesn't have anyone to hold hands with. It doesn't form part of a bond, but there is a positive proton in the phosphorous nucleus holding it in place. When energy is added to pure silicon, for example in the form of heat, it can cause a few electrons to break free of their bonds and leave their atoms. A hole is left behind in each case. These electrons then wander randomly around the crystalline lattice looking for another hole to fall into. These electrons are called free carriers, and can carry electrical current. There are so few of them in pure silicon,

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   however, that they aren't very useful. Impure silicon with phosphorous atoms mixed in is a different story. It turns out that it takes a lot less energy to knock loose one of the "extra" phosphorous electrons because they aren't tied up in a bond, their neighbors aren't holding them back. As a result, most of these electrons do break free, and there are a lot more free carriers than we would have in pure silicon. The process of adding impurities on purpose is called doping, and when doped with phosphorous, the resulting silicon is called N-type ("n" for negative) because of the prevalence of free electrons. N-type doped silicon is a much better conductor than pure silicon is.

Fig 2. N- Type Silicon with Phosphorus Impurity

In reality, only part of a solar cell is N-type. The other part is doped with boron, which has only three electrons in its outer shell instead of four, to become P-type silicon. Instead of having free electrons, P-type silicon ("p" for positive) has free holes. Holes really are just the absence of electrons, so they carry the opposite (positive) charge. They move around just like electrons do.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Fig 3. P-type Silicon with Boron Impurity

Creating an Electric Field: A Double Dope The interesting part starts when N-type silicon and P-type silicon are put together. Remember that every PV cell has at least one electric field. Without an electric field, the cell wouldn't work, and this field forms when the N-type and P-type silicon are in contact. The extra free electrons in the N side are constantly searching for holes to fall into. When the N-type and P-type silicon are in contact, the N side electrons see all the free holes on the P side, and there's a rush to fill them in.

N-type and P-Type Silicon with Pure Elemental Silicon

Before now, the silicon was electrically neutral. The extra electrons were balanced out by the extra protons in the phosphorous. Our missing electrons (holes) were balanced out by the missing protons in the boron. When the holes and electrons mix at the junction between N-type and P-type silicon, however, that neutrality is disrupted. Do all the free electrons fill all the free holes? No. If they did, then the whole arrangement wouldn't be very useful. Right at the junction, however, they do mix and form a barrier, making it harder and harder for electrons on the N side to cross to the P side. Eventually, equilibrium is reached, and we have an electric field separating the two sides.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

The effect of the electric field in a PV cell

This electric field acts as a diode, allowing (and even pushing) electrons to flow from the P side to the N side, but not the other way around. It's like a hill -- electrons can easily go down the hill (to the N side), but can't climb it (to the P side). So an electric field has been created that acts as a diode in which electrons can only move in one direction.

Light Creating an Electric Charge Sunlight carries solar energy in the form of photons, or tiny packets of energy. When photons from sunlight hit a photovoltaic solar cell, they travel uninterrupted through the n-type layer of silicon and hit the atoms in the p-type layer of silicon. The force of the solar photons bumps the electrons in atoms near the diode out of their bond with surrounding atoms. If this happens close enough to the electric field, because the electrons are now looking for somewhere to go and because they are attracted to the positive charge on the surface of the n-type layer, they begin crossing over into that layer. This movement of electrons from one atom to another is the electrical charge that can be used in an electrical current.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Once electrons cross over to the n-type silicon, they still have nowhere to go. They are unable to pass back over to the p-type silicon, but are also unable to form any bonds with the atoms in the n-type layer, which have more electrons than they need already. Here, an additional photovoltaic panel component comes into use. In all photovoltaics, a metal conductor strip is used to collect and concentrate the electrons set free in this process. As the electrons move upward through the n-type layer, they are attracted to one of many conductor strips which aggregate electrons into a current of electricity.

However, if electrons keep moving out of the p-type silicon into the n-type silicon and the metal conductor strip, soon there will not be enough electrons available to continue this process. Instead, electrons need to be fed back into the p-type silicon through another metal conductor strip or plate. By connecting both conductor strips to an electrical current, a cycle of using and replenishing electrons is formed, and we can store in a battery or connect an electrical load, like a light bulb, building or anything else that uses electricity, to this current to take advantage of the electricity being produced by the photovoltaic panel. In practice, there are several additional steps that the electricity must go through to serve an electrical load, but this is the general concept behind photovoltaic current. The electron flow provides the current, and the cell's electric field causes a voltage. With both current (I) and voltage (V), we have power (P), which is the product of the two.


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Energy Loss: Band Gap Energy Solar cells only absorb about 15% of the sunlight’s energy. This is due to the wave properties of light. Electromagnetic radiation, like that emitted by the sun, is not monochromatic. It is made up of a range of different wavelengths, and therefore different energy levels. Visible light is only part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Light can be separated into different wavelengths, and we can see them in the form of a rainbow. Since the light that hits our cell has photons of a wide range of energies, it turns out that some of them won't have enough energy to form an electron-hole pair. They'll simply pass through the cell as if it were transparent. Still other photons have too much energy. Only a certain amount of energy, measured in electron volts (eV) and defined by our cell material (about 1.1 eV for crystalline silicon), is required to knock an electron loose. This is called the band gap energy of a material. If a photon has more energy than the required amount, then the extra energy is lost (unless a photon has twice the required energy, and can create more than one electron-hole pair, but this effect is not significant). These two effects alone account for the loss of around 70 percent of the radiation energy incident on our cell.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   It might seem that choosing a material with a really low band gap would increase the efficiency of the solar cell. Unfortunately, the band gap also determines the strength (voltage) of the electric field, and if it's too low, then what is make up in extra current (by absorbing more photons), is lost by having a small voltage. Remember that power is voltage times current (P=IV). The optimal band gap, balancing these two effects, is around 1.4 eV for a cell made from a single material.

Power, Current, and Volts ▪ Regardless of its size, a single solar cell always produces a VOLTAGE of approximately 0.5 volts. ▪ To generate higher voltages, connect individual cells in SERIES. This allows the summation of the individual voltages. ▪ To generate greater CURRENT, use larger solar cells. Current is measured in AMPERES. ▪ You can also connect cells in PARALLEL to increase current.

Voltage can drop for several reasons: o

At high temperatures. (Unlike thermal solar energy, PV works less well when it's very hot! In tropical climates, choose higher voltage panels.)


As a result of long wires. It's important to keep your wiring between your panels and other parts of your installation as short as possible.


Diodes can also cause small voltage losses.

Voltage can be compared with water pressure in a hose. If the "pressure" of the electrons isn't high enough, the electricity can't "penetrate" the battery. Just as voltage can be likened to water pressure in a hose, current can be likened to the flow, or the amount of water (or electrons) passing through. A thin hose will take longer to fill a swimming pool than a thicker hose with the same pressure.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

A panel that produces 2 amperes sends twice as many electrons as a one-ampere panel. When talking of PV panels, you usually refer to their POWER (measured in WATTS). VOLTS x AMPERES = WATTS

The voltage produced by PV panels remains roughly the same regardless of the weather, but the current (amps) and the power (watts) will vary.

The solar electric panels at the Ecohouse are Isofoton panels. They generate a maximum current of 8.7 amps and a maximum voltage of 17.3 volts. This produces a power output of 150 Watts +5%.

P=IV P= 8.7*17.3 P=150 W

Positioning of Solar Panels THE SUN'S RAYS SHOULD BE PERPENDICULAR TO THE PANELS. SUNLIGHT SHOULD HIT THEM AT A 90° ANGLE. 1. The position of solar panels can be adjusted manually to get the best tilt angle for each season. Take your latitude and add 15° for the winter, and subtract 15° for the summer. At the spring and autumn equinoxes, the best angle is equal to your latitude 2. It is advisable to have at least a 15° tilt to avoid rain accumulating on your panels. A greater angle will help keep them free of snow.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   3. Snow on the ground is a welcome sight in winter -it increases diffuse light considerably! The solar electric array at the OU Eco-House is designed to be raised and lowered throughout the year to catch the sun’s rays as efficiently as possible. During the summer months, when the sun is higher in the sky, the array will be at a lower angle, around 25 degrees. When the sun is lower in the sky, in the fall, winter and spring, the array will be at a higher angle, around 40 degrees. The vertical racking bars are marked at the places that set the array at the proper angle. So all that needs to be done is moving it up in the late summer to the lower marking, and down in the late spring to the upper marking. When the solar panels were repositioned for the spring angle, their power output increased by more than three fold. It is very important to position them at an angle that maximization transmission of light. The ideal angle is 90 degrees to the position of the sun.

AC/DC Electricity flows in two ways; either in alternating current (AC) and in direct current (DC). The word electricity comes from the fact that current is nothing more than moving electrons along a conductor that have been harnessed for energy. Therefore, the difference between AC and DC has to do with the direction in which the electrons flow. In DC, the electrons flow steadily in a single direction, or “forward.” In AC, electrons keep switching directions, sometimes going “forwards” and then going “backwards.” The power that comes from our wall outlets is AC, the more common, efficient kind. The major advantage that AC electricity has over DC is that AC voltages can be transformed to higher or lower voltages. This means that the high voltages used to send electricity over great distances from the power station could be reduced to a safer voltage for use in the house. A magnetic field near a wire causes electrons to flow in a single direction along the wire, because they are repelled by the negative side of a magnet and attracted toward the positive side. This is DC power, and this is the type of power generated by solar panels. With a solar array, DC power is channeled into a battery through conductors, which then flows through an inverter that changes it into AC power. This AC power can then be tapped into through electrical outlets in the home.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

At the Ecohouse there is no battery that the DC power generated by the panels stores. Instead, the solar panels are hooked up directly to the electric company’s grid. If the house needs the energy, the electrons flow through an inverter that converts the DC current to AC current that can be tapped into through outlets inside the house. However, if the solar panels are producing more energy than the house needs, the rest of the current flows directly into the electric company’s grid. They can then distribute that energy to whatever house or building is in need at the time.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  


  A solar thermal system usually consists of panels that are mounted on a rack or the roof of a building. They are designed to capture solar energy and use it to heat water. There are many types of solar collectors that can be used.

Why Solar Water Heating? By installing a solar water heating system, a typical household can meet 50 to 100 percent of their hot water needs. Reducing the demand for fossil fuels will improve the environment by reducing air and water pollution as well as the heat-trapping gases that cause global warming.

How Does It Work? Solar hot water heaters use the sun to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid in collectors. There are passive systems and active systems. A typical system will reduce the need for conventional water heating by about two-thirds. Sometimes the plumbing from a solar heater connects to a house's existing water heater, which stays inactive as long as the water coming in is hot or hotter than the temperature setting on the indoor water heater. When it falls below this temperature, the home's water heater can kick in to make up the difference. High-temperature solar water heaters can provide energy-efficient hot water and hot water heat for large commercial and industrial facilities.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Typical Active Solar Thermal System Layout

Solar Energy Collectors Flat Plate Collectors The most common collector for solar hot water is the flat plate collector. It is a rectangular box with a transparent cover, installed on a building's roof. Small tubes run through the box and carry fluid-either water or other fluid, such as an antifreeze solution. The tubes attach to a black absorber plate. As heat builds up in the collector, it heats the fluid passing through the tubes. The hot water or liquid goes to a storage tank. If the fluid is not hot water, water is heated by passing it through a tube inside the storage tank full of hot fluid.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Evacuated Tube Collectors These collectors consist of rows of parallel transparent glass tubes, each containing an absorber and covered with a selective coating. Sunlight enters the tube, strikes the absorber, and heats the liquid flowing through the absorber. These collectors are manufactured with a vacuum between the tubes, which helps them achieve extremely high temperatures (170-350 degrees F); so they are appropriate for commercial and industrial uses.

Concentrating Collectors Parabolic trough-shaped reflectors concentrate sunlight onto an absorber or receiver to provide hot water and steam, usually for industrial and commercial applications.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Transpired Solar Collectors A transpired collector is a south facing outside wall covered by a dark sheet metal collector. The collector heats outside air, which is then sucked into the building's ventilation system through perforations in the collector. They have been used for pre-heating ventilation air and crop drying. They are inexpensive to make, and commercially, have achieved efficiencies of more than 70 percent.

Batch or Breadbox Heaters This system is also referred to as a batch heater and a breadbox. It consists of an approximately 40-gallon insulated tank, lined with glass on the inside and painted black on the outside. It is mounted on the roof, or on the ground in the sun. Plumbing from the house supplies the box with cold water through an inlet that extends down to the bottom of the tank. The box itself acts like a collector, absorbing and trapping the sun's heat and heating the water. An outlet supplies the house with heated water from the top of the tank.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Hot Water Systems Direct Systems This system uses a pump to circulate potable water from the water storage tank through one or more collectors and back into the tank. The pump is regulated by an electronic controller, an appliance timer, or a photovoltaic panel. Indirect Systems In this system, a heat exchanger heats a fluid that circulates in tubes through the water storage tank, transferring the heat from the fluid to the potable water. Thermosiphons A thermosiphon solar water heating system has a tank mounted above the collector. As the collector heats the water, it rises to the storage tank, while heavier cold water sinks down to the collector. Draindown Systems In cold climates, this system prevents water from freezing in the collector by using electric valves that automatically drain the water from the collector when the temperature drops to freezing. "Drainback systems," a variation of this approach, automatically drain the collector whenever the circulating pump stops.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

The Ecohouse has a solar watering heating module that consists of two flat plate panels. The water heating system is indirect, and it uses propylene glycol to heat the water stored in the house’s water tank. The propylene glycol runs through copper tubes in the panels, which is then heated by the sun. A electric PV powered pump ultimately pushes the heated fluid into a copper coil that sits at the bottom of the water tank. The heat diffuses from the fluid through the copper, making the house’s water warm. Check out more about the solar module design and tank system at the Ecohouse in the Third Sun Solar Thermal Book.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Ohio University Ecohouse Solar Thermal Hot Water System This project was funded by Cinergy through their energy consulting company Vestar, who has been contracted to design and implement energy efficiency programs at Ohio University. The solar-thermal portion of the Ecohouse project was contracted to the Athens based company Third Sun Solar & Wind Power. This project will use solar irradiance to provide heat to assist in heating of the domestic hot water for the residents of the Eco House. For further questions or service enquires please call Third Sun at (740) 597-3111 Design Principal The installed solar thermal system uses two SunEarth EC-32 flat plate thermal collectors in a closed circulation loop and heat exchanger system. After the Glycol-based heat transfer flood is warmed by traveling through the two collectors’ 65 ft.2 of heat collecting area it is piped into a double wall heat exchanger inside of a super insulated hot water tank. A 20 watt photovoltaic module, mounted adjacent to the thermal collectors, is coupled directly with an El Sid high efficiency circulation pump. This pump moves the cooled fluid back to the thermal array where it absorbs additional heat and is continuously cycled until the setting sun causes the photovoltaic module to stop producing power for the circulation pump. The output from the solar thermal system’s tank is plumbed to the cold water intake of the existing gas fired hot water heater, thus providing a large boost in system efficiency due to the thermal systems preheating of the water. It is estimated that in the summer months 100% of the domestic hot water needs may be provide by Solar Thermal System. Bypass valves have been installed at both hot water tanks to allow the isolation of either the gas fired or solar thermal systems for efficiency or maintenance purposes. Finally, a mixing valve is located at the hot water output point of the gas fired tank to ensure the hot water temperature never exceeds a safe, scald-free temperature. In addition to the pressure gauge on the circulation loop, there are three measurement points fitted with temperature gauges. These temperature gauges show both the incoming and outgoing temperatures of the circulation loop as well as the solar thermal tank’s hot water output temperature. Both the circulation loop and the solar thermal tank feature temperature and pressure overflow valves. Attached are pages for valve locations and functions, gauge locations and functions, and an isometric schematic of the complete solar thermal plumbing system plumbing.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

By-­‐passing Solar  Thermal  or  On-­‐Demand  System

These  are  the  valves  near  the  on-­‐demand  water  heater.    When  all  are  in  the  upright  position,  the   water  will  flow  through  the  heater.  

  If  you  turn  the  blue  handle  horizontal,  and  the  right-­‐hand  red  handle  horizontal,  the  on-­‐demand   water  heater  is  bypassed  and  the  water  is  being  heated  solely  by  the  solar  thermal  system.    You  do   not  ever  need  to  move  the  left-­‐hand  red  handle  which  the  hand  in  this  photo  is  holding.  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Almost  100  %  of  the  time,  the  handles  should  be  set  as  pictured  above.    This  draws  in  the  water   from  the  solar  thermal  heater.  

  Occasionally,  you  may  want  to  bypass  the  solar  thermal  system  (pictured  above).    The  only  time   you  may  want  to  do  this,  is  if  the  temperature  of  the  water  is  around  90-­‐100  degrees.    The  on-­‐ demand  water  heater  will  not  turn  on  because  of  the  risk  of  overheating  the  water.    So,  for  a  more   comfortable  shower,  you  may  want  to  just  let  the  on-­‐demand  heater  do  the  work.  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

The corn and wood pellet furnace is located in the basement of the Ecohouse, keeping residents like you warm through the winter months! The furnace was originally meant to burn corn (hence the name) for its heat source. However wood pellets, which are made from waste wood, now fuels the furnace. The reason for the switch in resource was the costliness of maize and the reduction from a food source. Biofuel is a better option because the pellets can be made out of recycled wood, which is a more sustainable practice than using corn. Just like any other furnace, the efficiency depends on temperature, time of year, flame, etc. The cost of this system is $2,000 and it can save on fuel expenses depending on the variables mentioned above. The Ecohouse's thermostat electronically controls the fuel feed system and blower to provide a constant temperature. The furnace will remain lit as long as the bin contains corn, and will shut down automatically if the fuel supply is depleted. This electronic heating technique helps with consistency in temperature making sure the furnace is not continuously running.

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

A-MAIZE-ING FURNACE Instructions Start-Up Up Keep End of Season


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Furnace Terms


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    

1. Turn gas furnace down to 55°. This acts as a back up if the wood/ corn furnace goes out.

4. Loosen bottom screw of the metering auger and detach from auger tee.

2. Turn wood/corn furnace up higher than the house s current temperature, which should be about 5° warmer than you d like the house. This will ensure that the wood/corn furnace knows to turn on.

5. Pour about 1T of graphite into the auger tee connection.

3. Vacuum out the combustion chamber.

6. Pour about 1T of graphite into the storage bin hole.


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    

7. Pour one bag of wood chips into the hopper.

8. Fill the burn pot to just below the first row of holes.

10. Pour a little bit of lighter fluid into the burn pot and then place the lighter fluid far away from the furnace.

11. Light as many of the wood pellets as possible with a match.

9. Thoroughly douse a small container of wood chips with lighter fluid and put in the burn pot.

12. Turn switch to start .


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    

13. Balance the combustion blower. If it is too far open, the flame will be roaring and burn faster than the auger can feed the chips. If it is too far closed, the flame will lap lazily and the auger will feed the pot faster than the fire can burn it.

16. Remove the metal cover of the thermostat box on the left side of the machine by squeezing the sides and pulling it towards you. You should see the temperature gauge pictured in step 17.

14. Let the pot burn for 10-15 minutes and proceed through steps 15-17 while you wait.

17. When the first metal tab (red arrow) reaches or passes the edge of the black plastic ridge (green arrow), the furnace is hot enough to be turned on. In this picture the metal tab is well past the black ridge, the furnace is ready as soon as the silver tab reaches the black ridge.

15. If you haven t already, reattach the metering auger. Then fill up the storage bin with pellets. Put the lid on the storage bin.

18. Switch furnace to on . Put the cover of the thermostat box back on. Close the door to the combustion chamber.


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

19. Make sure the range on the chimney draft meter is between .04 and .06. Do NOT touch the white knob. If it is not between .04 and . 06 refer to step 20. If it is, skip step 20.

20. Loosen the screw. Sliding the weight back makes the chimney draft number get smaller. Sliding the weight forwards makes the number larger. It is pictured in the forward position now.

21.  You can now reduce the thermostat to your desired temperature. Do not reduce more than 2° at a time and then let the furnace catch up in between.


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Weekly Maintenance

Remove the ash pan completely and empty into a metal pail at least once a week. In very cold weather you may have to empty it more often.

Pull the heat exchanger scraper all the way out and then push it back in.

Refill the hopper. In cold weather you may have to fill it more often than once a week. If the hopper runs out before you catch it, let the stove burn out, cool for several hours and then clean out and relight the stove.

Check the rim of the burn pot for clinkers that might be stuck to it. If there are any, loosen them with the clinker tool.


Monthly Maintenance

Once a month, dump 1T of graphite into the storage bin hole (or as close to it as possible since there will still be a some pellets in the hopper).

Maintenance employees should come to change the filter every month or two. If this does not happen, please let someone in the Office of Sustainability know and we will get someone to come over and do it.

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End of Season Procedure 1.  Allow the furnace to burn up all of the wood pellets in the storage bin until it burns itself out. 2.  Put in a work order for annual maintenance and let someone in the Office of Sustainability know you have done so, or ask someone in the Office of Sustainability to put in the work order. The work order should include the following: Please conduct annual maintenance on the A-maize-ing Furnace in the basement of the Ecohouse. The manual for the furnace is housed at the Office of Sustainability which is located in the Facilities Management Building, office #182 & #181. Thoroughly clean the combustion chamber and burn pot. Remove and inspect all chimney pipe connections. Clean out ash buildup in pipes. Replace any pipe showing signs of burning through. Clean oil and inspect all blower and auger motors including the burner fan, main blower fan, burner auger and storage bin auger.


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Why Compost? Reducing the amount of solid waste you produce is the major goal of composting. If you reduce solid waste, you will save space in municipal landfills, which will ultimately save you tax money. It is important to remember that finished compost has the advantage of being a useful natural fertilizer that is more environmentally friendly than synthetic fertilizers.

Composting Biology Composting provides the conditions that are ideal for the natural decay processes that occur in nature. The materials that contribute to the composting environment include: •

• • •

Organic waste - newspaper, leaves, grass, kitchen waste (fruits, vegetables), woody materials Soil - source of microorganisms Water Air - source of oxygen During the process of composting, microorganisms from the soil eat the organic, carbon containing, waste. These organisms break it down into its simplest parts. This produces a fiber-rich, carbon-containing humus with inorganic nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The microorganisms break the material down through aerobic respiration. This means that they require oxygen, and the only way they get it is from the air you introduce when you turn the material in the compost bin. Water is also essential to the microorganisms so that they can live and multiply. Through the respiration process, the microorganisms give off carbon dioxide and heat -- temperatures within compost piles can rise as high as 100 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (28 to 66 C). If the compost pile or bin is actively managed by turning and watering it regularly, the process of decomposing into finished compost can happen in as little as two to three weeks (otherwise, it may take months).

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A compost pile has a complex organization of living organisms. Within the small ecosystem created by composting a foodweb exists. Bacteria and fungi primarily break down the organic matter in the trash. Single-celled organisms (protozoa), small worms (nematodes), and mites feed on the bacteria and fungi. Predatory nematodes, predatory mites and other invertebrates (sowbugs, millipedes, beetles) feed on the protozoa, mites and nematodes. All of these organisms work to balance the population of organisms within the compost, which increases the efficiency of the entire process. Balancing the Compost Contents The compost conditions must be balanced to create an environment that is efficient for decomposition. There must be: • • • •

Plenty of air - mixture should be turned daily or every other day Adequate water - mixture should be moist, but not soaking wet Proper mix of carbon to nitrogen - ratio should be about 30:1 Small particle size - big pieces should be broken up, as smaller particles break down more rapidly Adequate amount of soil - should provide enough microorganisms for the process

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Making Compost To make compost, you must do the following: • • • • •

Choose a site for the compost pile. Choose a structure. Add the ingredients. Care for and feed the compost pile. Collect the finished compost for use.

Choose a Site It is important to ask yourself where you want your compost pile. You want to be able to compost discretely away from your house, but not so far away that you may not want to go out and attend to it. Also, you do not want it so close to the boundaries of your property that your neighbors might complain. Part of the answer may be dictated by local housing ordinances or homeowner organization rules that may specify where a compost pile can be located. Other factors to consider include the following: •

• •

Downwind from your house - Even a well-managed compost pile may occasionally emit unpleasant odors. Wind - Although wind provides air, too much wind can dry and/or scatter the material. Sunlight - Sunlight can help warm the compost pile in the winter, but too much sunlight can dry it out. If the pile is located by a large deciduous tree, you will have cool shade in the summer and sunlight in the winter. Drainage - You want good drainage so that water will not accumulate by the pile. Surface - Bare earth is better than concrete. Make sure to give yourself a sufficient work area around the pile (6 to 8 ft, or about 2 m).

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Choose a Structure Compost structures can be as simple as a heap where you just pile all of the ingredients and let nature take its course, this is passive composting. Passive composting is less efficient and slower than active composting, in which you manage the compost process on a daily basis. Construction of more complicated compost bins can be done using chicken wire, wood or concrete blocks. They can be simple, one-compartment structures in which you add new materials to the top, turn the compost frequently and collect the finished compost from the bottom. They can also be multi-compartment (three-bin) structures in which you add new material to one bin, transfer partially-completed compost to the middle bin and move finished compost to the final bin. There should be some covering on the top of the bin to minimize excess rainwater and reduce scattering from the wind. Many varieties of compost bins are available commercially.

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Add the Ingredients You can compost the following materials easily: •

• •

Kitchen waste - best to chop up or grind the wastes so that they can be broken down faster § Fruit and vegetable wastes - peels, skins, seeds, leaves § Egg shells § Coffee grounds (including paper filters), tea bags, used paper napkins § Corncobs - should be shredded to make them break down quickly § Meat/dairy products - see sidebar Yard waste § Grass clippings - Some grass is okay, but too much will add excess nitrogen to the compost pile and make it smell bad. It may be best to use a mulching lawn mower for your grass. § Leaves § Pine needles § Weeds § Woody materials (branches, twigs) § Straw or hay Newspaper Seaweed, kelp or marsh grass hay - If you live by the ocean and it is legal to harvest these, they are excellent, nutrient-rich materials. Rinse or soak them thoroughly in fresh water to remove excess salt before adding them to your compost pile. Composting Meat & Dairy Sawdust - This is an excellent source of Meat and dairy products are high in fat. They will cause carbon. an unpleasant odor if added to a passive pile or poorlymanaged active compost pile. For a hot, well-turned compost pile, meat and dairy wastes are not a problem. However, it is better to run the wastes through a blender or food processor to reduce their size and speed their decomposition.

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Composting At The Ecohouse In the past, the Ecohouse had a one compartment composting bin. It was made out of recycled crates that were disassembled. Chicken wire was then stapled to all four sides and the top to allow for ventilation and moisture. The bottom was left open to make the entrance of all those friendly decomposers easy. This bin used to hold the kitchen waste of the three Ecohouse residents.

During the summer of 2012, the Ecohouse residents have since updated and expanded their forms of composting with a barrel on the back porch, the garden tri-bin, and the vermicomposting bin in the basement. These systems of composting serve different purposes for the property to fulfill waste management needs. The plastic barrel on the back porch serves as the new home for kitchen scraps and other food waste. It should be turned every couple days and emptied onto the properties garden and landscape when full. The tri-bin functions as the primary source of the garden and landscape waste, located in the back of the garden. The tri-bin is primarily maintained by the Office of Sustainability garden manager and community garden plot owners. Ecohouse residents are not responsible for this portion, but are encouraged to get their hands dirty. Lastly, vermicomposting is used for food scraps, bits of paper products (non-gloss), and other biodegradable materials such as dryer lint. Detailed descriptions and care instructions for the three composting varieties can be found within the house features and garden/landscape sections of the Ecohouse residential guide.

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• • •

Human waste or pet litter - They carry diseases and parasites, as well as cause an unpleasant odor. Diseased garden plants - They can infect the compost pile and influence the finished product. Invasive weeds - Spores and seeds of invasive weeds (buttercups, morning glory, quack grass) can survive the decomposition process and spread to your desired plants when you use the finished compost. Charcoal ashes - They are toxic to the soil microorganisms. Glossy paper - The inks are toxic to the soil microorganisms. Pesticide-treated plant material - These are harmful to the compost foodweb organisms, and pesticides may survive into the finished compost.

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Composting As A Strategy: 2010-12 Resident Kylie Johnson Many people think that composting is only for people who want to use the soil for gardening. Although it makes wonderful nutrient-rich soil, composting is also important as a waste management strategy. In 2010 the EPA recorded that 33 million tons of food waste were sent to landfills. This makes food waste the biggest contributor to landfills. Waste is becoming a big issue with growing population and consumption patterns. The U.S. municipal waste stream has tripled since the 1960s. Today, 4.5 pounds of food waste is produced per person per day compared to 1.8 pounds 45 years ago. That is a HUGE increase that needs to be fixed with sustainable solutions. Composting is one solution to help with food waste because the EPA projects that 67% of American household waste can be composted. Composting is still a relatively new practice for food waste diversion in the U.S. There are some cities like San Francisco that require composting, but most cities do not have composting pickup available because it is still cheapest to send food waste to the landfill. Many European countries that are facing space constraints have adopted new waste management strategies to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. Scotland is one of these countries. A few years ago Scotland was only recycling 4 percent of possible materials, but new targets in the Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan require Scotland to recycle 70 percent with a maximum of 5 percent to landfill by 2025. In order to achieve a zero waste Scotland in the next 10 years, the government has been progressively increasing the landfill tax each year in order to encourage more sustainable methods of waste disposal. This government-inspired shift in protocol has made composting an increasingly attractive waste disposal practice for businesses. The United States needs to create government mandates like Scotland and other European countries have done in order to make composting a viable waste management option.

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Composting As A Strategy: 2010-12 Resident Kylie Johnson There are tons of benefits to composting, and it is a great tool for climate change mitigation. The following list of benefits relates to the potential of composting as a mitigation tool for climate change. Composting results in: •Removal of atmospheric carbon through soil carbon sequestration •Reduction of GHG emissions through reduced production of chemical fertilizers and pesticides •Landfill cover reduces GHG emissions •Reduction of GHG emissions through reduced irrigation •Reduced diesel use for soil cultivation from improved tilth and soil workability •Reduced need for biocides reduces GHG emissions from biocide production •Reduced nitrogen loss that causes N20 emissions •Reduced erosion that results in N20 emissions from loss of nutrients and organic matter •Abatement potential for manure management • Effective bio-filter for reducing pesticide contamination in water spills Provides a less costly alternative to conventional methods of remediating (cleaning) contaminated soil •

Helps prevent pollution

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Composting As A Strategy: 2010-12 Resident Kylie Johnson There are tons of benefits to composting, and it is a great tool for climate change mitigation. The following list of benefits relates to the potential of composting as a mitigation tool for climate change. Composting results in: Compost has also been shown to prevent erosion and silting on embankments and prevents erosion and turf loss on roadsides, hillsides, golf courses, etc. • Realistic Energy Option using Anaerobic Digestion Plants • Restoring nutrients to the soil When used for growing crops, compost has shown to increase soil water holding capacity, add nutrients, and stifle soil-borne diseases • Offers economic benefits It serves as a marketable commodity and is a low-cost alternative to standard landfill cover and artificial soil amendments. Composting also extends landfill life Overall, composting simultaneously reduces GHG emissions, improves sustainability, prevents soil and water contamination, conserves resources, provides renewable energy options, increases soil nutrients...and the list goes on and on! In 2005, the U.S. disposed of 25 million tons of food waste into landfills. If this food waste had been composted, the GHG emissions impact would have been equal to removing 7.8 million cars from the road! The majority of the population is not aware of all the wonderful benefits that composting has to offer because it is not yet a common practice. So share this information with the people around you, they will be surprised to find that it is easy to do. Depending on where you live, it can also save you money on trash disposal costs by cutting down the weight of your trash bins every week. I was amazed by how many garbage bags we saved at the Ecohouse by composting compared to what I was used to before having a backyard compost pile.

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Composting As A Strategy: 2010-12 Resident Kylie Johnson May 6th-12th was International Compost Awareness Week (yes, there is an entire week dedicated to composting) supported by the U.S. Composting Council. It is the largest education initiative of the composting industry every year. If you are interested in learning what communities and cities are doing with composting around the country, follow ICAW on Facebook or visit their website at I was hoping that I would have the chance to host a composting workshop at the Ecohouse for ICAW, but my schedule did not allow for it. This would be a great way to engage people in the practice next year.

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micomposting is a type of composting that uses worms. It is beneficial because it allows food waste to compost rapidly in a self-contained system. The biggest concern I hear from people about creating a vermicompost system is the smell. However, if you properly maintain your bin, it should not smell!! How to create your own vermicompost system: •

Obtain a bin. As you can see, ours is just a plain rubber bin that is double layered. The double layering is necessary because the inside bin needs to have holes drilled in it for ventilation. Drill 1/8 inch holes approximately four inches from the bottom of the bin. Otherwise, the worms will This is a photo of our worm factory stay at the bottom of the bin and possibly drown. located in the Ecohouse basement. Prepare the box for worms. Fill your bin with We just cleaned it out and filled it fibrous material such as thin strips of newspaper, cardboard, grass, straw, etc. Sprinkle dirt on top of with new redworms! the fiber material and moisten with water. Allow the water to soak for at least a day before adding worms. Add worms! Eisenia foetida (Red Wigglers) are the most common species used for vermicomposting. These are special tropical worms that cannot withstand cold temperatures, so make sure to keep your bin in a warm area. It is not recommended to dig worms out of your back yard for composting. If you live in Athens, you can purchase Red Wigglers at the local farmers market located by the State Street mall on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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Maintain bin. You will speed up the composting process by keeping your bin elevated. Also, your worms will not attempt to escape if you add food waste and moisture regularly. Feed your worm’s food scraps weekly and add fibrous material when needed (usually once a month). Harvest your compost. Remove a large amount of compost and place on a piece of newspaper or plastic. Allow time for the worms to bury into the center of the compost heap, and eventually you will have two separate piles, one for the worms and one for compost. Return the worms to the compost bin and use the remaining compost for whatever you like!

How it works: •

• •

There are several different removable bins with holes in the bottom of each, and these bins fit together to form the worm factory and allow the compost from worm waste to be sifted to the bottom To start your own worm factory, place moist newspapers in the top feeding tray and place food scraps under the moist sections The balance of food and fiber should be 50/50. Once you have added the proper ratio of food and fiber, you can add worms to the top tray For feeding the worms, you should follow the guidelines of 1 pound of worms to 1/2 pound of food per day

Possible fiber sources that can be used for the factory: • • •

Shredded paper Magazines Cardboard

There are many online sources available that explain vermicomposting techniques. However, I found the website mentioned below to be particularly helpful in giving easy, detailed instructions on how to create your own system:

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Dehumidifier During the summer the Ecohouse basement collects moisture, making it a breeding ground for mold. A dehumidifier is necessary to collect unwanted humidity within the space. With the rapid collection of vapor, it is necessary to empty the back of the dehumidifier. The Ecohouse uses this recycled gray water to fill the back of the toilet or to water the garden and landscape, making it a very sustainable practice!

Toilet Use less water. Fill an empty 2-liter bottle with water. Flush your toilet and place the bottle in the back of the toilet. Now, every time you flush the toilet you will be using about 2 liters less water! Now, just imagine if EVERYONE did that. What a difference a small change can make.

Rainwater Catchment When rainwater runs down the gutters of the Ecohouse and solar array, it is caught in barrels designed to recycle gray water in the garden, landscape, and the back of the toilet.

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D ryin g Fl ow ers


Plan: Before you get started, you'll need to assess whether your flower bouquet will dry well. Blooms should not be fully mature or they will lose their petals in the flower drying process. Also, consider the types of flowers you are using. Air drying will work for more robust varieties such as roses or small, long-lasting varieties like lavender. For more delicate flowers like lilies, try another preservation technique, such as pressing. 1. Strip excess foliage from your flowers and cut the stems to your desired length (but not shorter than six inches). To help your flowers maintain their color during the drying process, it is important that you remove them from sunlight as soon as they're cut. Rubber band bunches of stems together if you would like to hang a bouquet, or leave the stems be if you'd like to hang the flowers individually. 2. Find a dark, dry area with good circulation. An unused closet will work perfectly. With unflavored dental floss, secure the bottom end of the flower's stem to a hanger. You may hang two flowers/bunches on each hanger by hanging items from each side, or you can hang one flower/bunch by hanging it from the middle. Once secure, hang flowers upside down to dry. Leave your flowers there for a good two to three weeks and make sure not to remove them until they are completely dry. 3. Remove the flowers from the hangers. You can now hang your dried flowers around the house as you please, remove the petals and make potpourri, or use them in a crafts-related project to make a thoughtful gift for someone else. Dried flowers don't like sunlight or extreme heat, so try to find homes for them in more



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Project: DIY Sprout Making

Ty pe: Rec ipe Resident Name: Kylie Johnson Year: 2010-2012 Plan: Interested in saving money on your grocery bill while still eating healthy? Growing sprouts at home is the perfect solution! Sprouting is a great way to garden in the winter, and it is perfect for people who have a small living space because sprouts can be grown in a glass jar without taking up any room. Sprouts are nutritious and tasty, and compliment just about everything from sandwiches and salads to stir-fry and casseroles. Once you start sprouting, you will be hooked! Thanks to Jim, we have a constant supply of sprouts at the Ecohouse in a variety of different types including red clover, alfalfa, and lentils. To start your very own sprout collection, follow the easy step-by-step instructions below. You'll be a sprouting pro in no time! Sustainable Living: If you live in Athens, my suggestion for buying seeds locally would be The Farmacy. You can buy seeds there for sprouting in addition to sprouting mixes that include a blend of seeds. Also, if you're looking for cheesecloth in Athens, you can find it at Kroger in the kitchen section. To start your very own sprout collection, follow the easy step-by-step instructions below. You'll be a sprouting pro in no time!



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ECOHOUSE PROJECT Getting Started: What You Will Need

1) Seeds of your choice (recommendations listed below) 2) Jar (any type will do but we use glass mason jars) 3) Cheesecloth 4) Rubber Band Choose Seeds and Measure

Here are the best choices of each type of sprout source. (Recommendations from Best seeds: alfalfa, clover. • Best beans: mung, lentil, garbanzo. • Best nuts: almonds, filberts (hazelnuts). • Best grains: wheat berries, rye. The next list indicates what amount of sprout source is appropriate. •

• • • •

Small seeds: 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml). Medium seeds: 1/4-1/2 cup (65-125 grams). Large beans and grains: 1 cup (250 g). Sunflower seeds: 2 cups (500 g).


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ECOHOUSE PROJECT The Proc ess: 1. Before you go to bed, measure out the correct amount of seeds. In the case of alfalfa, 2-3 tablespoons. 2. Next, pour the seeds onto a plate and inspect them for broken or withered pieces, small stones, and lumps of dirt. 3. After they're sorted, pour the seeds into a strainer and rinse under water. Make sure your strainer has very fine netting so that your seeds don't get washed down the drain! 4. Pour your rinsed seeds into a jar. 5. Cover the seeds with water. The water level should be a few inches (6-8cm) above the seeds. Let them soak overnight. If your seeds are medium sized, soak them for 812 hours. Large seeds should soak 12-24 hours. 6. Cover the mouth of the jar with cheesecloth the next morning and secure with a rubber band. 7. Turn over the jar in the sink and strain out the water. *Note- Some people save this water because it is full of nutrients. You can use it as an ingredient in a health shake or feed it to your houseplants! 8. Shake the jar to remove excess water. 9. Rinse the seeds again and shake the jar to remove extra water. Hold the jar up to the light to ensure the seeds are mostly dry. If they're too wet, the seeds may rot during sprouting. 10. Drain the seeds all day by tipping the jar on its side upside down in a bowl or dish. 11. Repeat the rinsing process on the evening of the same day. For 4-5 days you will continue this process of morning and evening rinsing and draining. 12. Watch for growth. After a few days you will begin to see green leaves sprouting on the seeds, and white shoots will appear on beans, nuts, and grains. 13. Harvest! The sprouts will reach their best flavor and nutritional value after 4 or 5 days. Give them one last rinse and shake. They're ready to eat!

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Step 2: Jim inspecting the seeds

Step 6- Cover the jar with cheesecloth Step 6: Secure cheese cloth with rubber band

Step 10: Drain the seeds

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ECOHOUSE PROJECT Project: How to Make and Can Family Secret Tomato S auce Ty pe: Rec ipe Resident Name: Hannah Simonetti Year: 2011-2012 Plan: The first thing I canned this year was tomato sauce. I bought the tomatoes and onions at the Produce Auction, and then I used the tomato sauce recipe from Animal Vegetable Miracle. It is not a traditional tomato sauce because it includes cinnamon and nutmeg, but let me tell you---it is amazingly delicious and versatile for both Italian and Middle Eastern cooking. Sustainable Living: Canning is a great way to preserve fresh, healthy, local veggies for consumption out of season. I highly recommend visiting the Chesterhill Produce Auction, where you can buy large amounts of locally grown veggies (mostly Amish, some organic) for super cheap! It’s a really cool experience and an amazing resource for people interested in making and preserving food. Check it out: Proc ess: The first step is gathering your supplies. For this recipe quart jars are great, but there are a variety of sizes and shapes of glass jars to choose from. You will need a lid and a ring for each jar. Rings can be re-used, but lids can only be canned with once. I recommend picking up a canning utensil kit, which usually includes a funnel, magnetic lid lifter, jar lifter, and a few other things that will really come in handy. Finally, you will need the biggest stockpot you can find to boil water for the water bath method.


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ECOHOUSE PROJECT This brings me to my next topic: types of canning. There are many different methods for canning, but they fall into two main categories, water bath canning and pressure canning. Water bath canning is used for acidic foods, such as pickles and tomato products, and doesn’t require any special equipment. Pressure canning uses a pressure canner to raise the temperature around the cans much higher, so it can be used for lower-acid foods such as beans, any nonacidic veggies and fruits, and even meats. The difference between high acid and low acid foods is that high acid foods can protect themselves better from food-borne bacteria because they create a hostile environment for the bacteria to live in. Low acid foods do not have this defense system, so they need to be canned at a higher temperature to reduce the possibility of contamination. For this tomato sauce, you will be using the water bath method. You first make the sauce in one stockpot. While you are doing this, you sterilize the jars and lids and bands, either in boiling water or the dishwasher. While the sauce is still hot, you funnel it into the jars. You add an acid, such a citric acid or lemon juice, to make sure the food is acidic enough to be safe to eat. You put the lids on and then lower the jars into the boiling water bath. Make sure they are not touching. You boil the cans in the water bath for the amount of time stated in the recipe. When they are done, remove them and put them in a place where they can dry and cool down, again not touching. When they have cooled, check the seals and put on the bands. You have not successfully canned your sauce! Now it is shelf-stable and can be kept in your pantry for consumption over the winter. The point of this recipe is to make a large amount at one time, when tomatoes are in season. If you’re canning it, stick closely to the recipe; adding additional fresh vegetables will change the pH so it’s unsafe for water-bath canning. If you’re freezing it, then it’s fine to throw in peppers, mushrooms, fresh garlic, whatever you like. This recipe makes 6-7 quarts—you can use a combination of pint and quart canning jars or freezer boxes.

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ECOHOUSE PROJECT ]10 quarts tomato puree (about 30 pounds tomatoes) 4 large onions, chopped 1 cup dried basil ½ cup honey 4 tablespoons dried oregano 3 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons ground dried lemon peel 2 tablespoons thyme 2 tablespoons garlic powder (or more, to taste) 2 tablespoons dried parsley 2 tablespoons pepper 2 teaspoons cinnamon ½ teaspoon nutmeg Soften onions in a heavy 3-gallon kettle—add a small amount of water if necessary but no oil if you are canning (very important!). Add pureed tomatoes and all seasonings bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for two to three hours until sauce has thickened to your liking. Stir frequently, especially toward the end, to avoid burning. Meanwhile, heat water in canner bath, sterilize jars I n boiling water or dishwasher, and pour boiling water over jar lids. Bottled lemon juice or citric acid—NOT optional! Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or ½ teaspoon citric acid to each quart jar (half that much to pint jars). This

ensures that the sauce will be safely acidic. When the sauce is ready, ladle it into the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Cap jars, lower gently into canner and boil for 35 minutes. Remove, cool, check all seals, label, and store for winter.


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H ow To Ma ke Fresh M ozza rella

C heese

Ty pe:


Resident Name: Year: Plan:

H ann ah Si mo netti

2011-2012 My interest in making fresh cheeses began

when I read Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal Vegetable Miracle. I highly recommend that any Ecohouse resident read this book. It is a chronicle of one year of her life with her family, during which they made a commitment to eat as locally as possible. In one chapter she describes their regular cheese making practices, and includes a recipe for fresh mozzarella. She suggests that new cheese makers visit the New England Cheese making Supply Company’s website, and purchase a “30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit.” I did exactly that, and I have made mozzarella successfully several times since.

Sustainable Living:

I wanted to do this project because I like to have as much control over what

goes into the food I’m eating as possible. Making my own cheese gave me the chance to use local milk to create a sustainable, delicious, nutritious product. It’s also a really fun project to do with friends or at a potluck!

Proc ess:

Included is the recipe that came with the kit, but I

encourage you to check out the book and the website mentioned above. *Note: this is one of those recipes that you have to follow exactly or it will not work. Good luck!


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1. Dissolve ¼ rennet tablet into ¼ of cool, chlorine-free water. Stir and set aside. Wrap the remaining pieces of tablet in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.

2. Mix 1 ½ tsp. citric acid into 1 cup cool, chorine-free water until dissolved. Pour into your pot. 3. Pour 1 gallon of milk (Snowville works wonderfully!) into your pot and stir vigorously while adding the citric acid solution.

4. Heat the milk to 90 degrees F while stirring. 5. Remove the pot from the burner and slowly stir in the rennet solution with an up and down motion for approximately 30 seconds.

6. Cover the pot and leave it undisturbed for 5 minutes. 7. Check the curd. It should look like custard, with a clear separation between the curd and the whey. If the curd is too soft or the whey is milky, let set for a few more minutes.

8. Cut the curd into one-inch squares with a knife that reaches the bottom of the pot. 9. Place the pot back on the stove and heat to 105 degrees F while slowly moving the curds around with your spoon.

10. Take off the burner and continue slowly stirring for 2-5 minutes. (More time will make firmer cheese).

11. Pour off the floating whey. 12. Ladle your curds into a large microwaveable bowl and drain off as much of the whey as you can without pressing the curds too much. Put on your rubber gloves.

13. Place the bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. 14. Remove and rain off the whey as you gently fold the curds in to one piece. Add 1 tsp. salt (optional).

15. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Drain again and stretch the curd. It must be 135 degrees to stretch properly. If it isn’t hot enough, microwave for another 30 seconds.


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  


16. Stretch the cheese by pulling like taffy until it is smooth and shiny. The more you work the

cheese, the firmer it will be. (Take a taste!)

17. Now form your cheese into a log or ball or braid it, make it into bite-sized morsels or even make it into string cheese. At this point we usually slice off a few pieces of the warm cheese for

immediate consumption. Yummmm!

18. When finished submerge it in 50 degree water to cool for 5 minutes and then in ice water for

15 minutes. This will cool it down and allow the cheese to hold its shape. This step is critical as it

protects the silky texture and prevents it from becoming grainy.

Options for your cheese: After stretching you can roll the cheese out and add a layer of herbs, pesto, etc. Then roll it up


into a log and plunge it into ice water. Cheese can be stored in the fridge for two weeks. It can also be

frozen and reheated.

*Note from Hannah: I encourage you to look up fun projects to do with your new whey! You can actually make ricotta cheese from just the whey, and you can use it as a nutritious addition to


soups, breads, and smoothies. You can also make healthy drinks from it. Explore your options! Make sure to refrigerate it in the meantime.



Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  


Nutri ti on al Y ea st


Resident Name: Year:

Kyl ie J oh nso n


Plan: Tired of eating the same meals all the time? Looking for new ways to spice up boring dishes? If so, nutritional yeast is the answer for you! Not only does nutritional yeast add flavor to your food, it provides you with tons of essential nutrients (I know, the name gives it away). So what exactly IS nutritional yeast? Nutritional yeast, or as we lovingly like to call it "flakes," is a yeast that is produced specifically for its nutritional value and is grown by culturing yeast with a mixture of beet molasses and sugarcane. After the yeast undergoes the fermentation process, it is harvested, washed, and dried. The result is a delicious substance that slightly resembles fish food, but don't let its flaky appearance fool you. Once you add flakes to your meals, you will never turn back! Mary Leciejewski, Environmental Studies grad student and Ecohouse friend says, "Nutritional yeast is delicious and nutritious. I use it on everything. Honestly, I don't know how I lived without it!" Nutritional Value: In addition to being naturally low in fat and salt, nutritional yeast is an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It is an especially good source of the B-complex vitamin, which is important in promoting healthy skin growth, increasing metabolism, immune and nervous system functions, as well as reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer. Two heaping tablespoons of flakes contains 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber at just 60 calories! What does it Taste Like? Nutritional yeast has a strong cheesy or nutty flavor, which makes it popular as a cheese substitute among vegans and vegetarians. It can be paired with almost any dish, including stir-fry, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, garlic bread, and so many more. My personal favorite use for flakes is as a popcorn topping. Some movie theaters offer nutritional yeast in addition to salt and butter, and once you try it you will understand why!


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  


Where to Find Flakes: Nutritional yeast can be found in most natural foods stores. The Nature's Market section in Kroger also carries this tasty kitchen must-have. If shopping locally at the Athens Kroger, you can find flakes packaged in a pound container and a pint (quarter pound) container.

Proc ess: Ok, so you bought some flakes but aren't sure how to incorporate them in your diet. Try one of these delicious recipes and you will be hooked! For the best popcorn you've ever tasted: Ingredients: •

Organic popcorn

Extra virgin olive oil

Nutritional yeast

Salt, pepper, garlic powder (optional)

STEPS 1. Cover the bottom of a medium saucepan with a layer of extra virgin olive oil 2. Turn the heat on the stove to medium-high and add a few kernels of popcorn 3. Cover with lid 4. When the kernels have popped, the pan is hot enough to add the amount of popcorn you want. 5. Wait for popcorn to pop and remove from heat so that it doesn't burn 6. Pour popcorn in a bowl and sprinkle with a generous amount of nutritional yeast 7. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder if desired and enjoy! Delicious Pasta and Greens Ingredients: •

Pasta of your choice (We recommend vegan pasta from Crumbs Bakery in Athens)

Greens of your choice-broccoli, collards, kale, etc.

Nutritional yeast •

Butter (to help yeast stick to pasta)

While it is warm, add a generous amount of nutritional yeast to the dish


*Remember, you can never have too much nutritional yeast, so don't be afraid to use a lot. Well, at least that's our philosophy at the Ecohouse!

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Ecohouse Events Ecohouse events are a great way to promote sustainable living within the Ohio University student body and Athens community. Ecohouse open houses are to allow the public to view and learn about the latest developments in green building and technology. Participants will also learn about how to apply these innovations to their own homes and gardens. Student patrons who attend are also encouraged to apply to be a resident in the Ecohouse the following year, so show off the wonderful environment that the Ecohouse is, and talk it up to the best of your ability! The more people you can enthuse, the more students are interested in applying to become a resident. Hand them a spare application, located in the administrative section of this binder. Ecohouse open house events are a great for starting the new school year off right. It is encouraged to hold an open house during the beginning of the fall semester when students look for new housing situations for the subsequent year.

As a Community Space Why not make the Ecohouse an enjoyable community space for Ohio University students and Athens residents. The Ecohouse has hosted potluck dinners in the past where the public is welcome to join the residents for food, music and conversation. Guests are encouraged to bring a dish to share, and a musical instrument if so inclined.

Ecohouse Projects/Workshops Ecohouse workshops are designed to create spaces for sharing information and experiences dealing with environmentally-friendly, green home skills and techniques. All are welcome! Why not make an event out of a workshop and share your skills with the entire community? Residents in the past have had community garden workdays to prepare for fall harvest and to make new friends. Get creative with your event/workshop and brainstorm how you can inspire the community with sustainability. Don’t forget to partner up with the Office of Sustainability, they would be happy to help with preparations!

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide      

Request a Plot In 2005, the Ohio Ecohouse was created as a sustainable living example on campus. In 2012, the Ecohouse project was expanded by inviting Ohio University campus community members to participate in the Community Garden Program. The garden has been be parceled into ten plots for others to grow food in chemically-free, environmentally sound ways. Gardeners are asked to donate a tithe of their harvest to local food pantries or others in need. The Community Garden initiative is a part of a larger food security movement at Ohio University and in Athens county. In alignment with the Sustainability Plan, a garden open to the campus community fosters citizenship, stewardship and justice. Gardeners will engage in a healthy lifestyle change, forming harmonious relationships with the natural world and other community members. Gardening is a great way to save money, enjoy local food, and build knowledge of sustainability. A community garden plot may be adopted by a student group, a department, or an individual at no cost. Tools, resources and education will be provided to any who request it. Anyone interested in reserving a plot at the Ecohouse Community Garden for Spring 2013 may fill out the application form at  

Gardening Tips Ecohouse Garden Manager, Markie Miller, provides gardeners with resources and support as they navigate gardening at the Ecohouse Community Garden. Follow Markie's adventures at the Ecohouse Community Garden through her gardening blog, The Garden Shed.  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide  

Rules of the Garden Ecohouse Community Garden Guidelines . Each gardener is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their garden plot. Watering, weeding, harvesting and any other garden related maintenance are all the responsibility of the gardener. Gardeners may arrange for other gardeners to water their plots.The Ecohouse Community Garden will utilize organic principles. . Gardeners will not use synthetic fertilizers, insecticides or weed repellents. . If a gardener must abandon a plot for any reason, he/she will notify the Garden Coordinator immediately. . If a plot becomes unkempt, the gardener associated with that plot will be given 2 weeks' notice to clean it up. At that time, if no action has been taken, the plot will be re-assigned or tilled in. . Gardeners will keep weeds at a minimum and maintain the areas immediately surrounding their plot(s), if any. . Gardeners will keep trash and litter out of the plot, as well as from adjacent pathways and fences. . Gardeners will clean and return borrowed tools to the storage area when done. If any are damaged, the gardener will notify the Garden Coordinator. . The OHIO Ecohouse is a student residence and, as such, gardeners agree to respect the space and privacy of those living in the house. Therefore, gardeners will use the compost bin and rain barrel that belong to the garden, not the personal ones of the household. If a gardener needs a restroom while gardening, they are asked to use the public one provided at Southside Park. . Gardeners may only garden during daylight (dawn to dusk). Being on the Ecohouse property outside of daylight hours is considered trespassing. . Gardeners are required to attend at least one of the Community Garden workshops/workdays. There are no other costs associated with adopting a plot. Neither the garden group nor owners of the land are responsible for gardeners' actions. Gardeners must therefore agree to hold harmless the garden group and owners of the land for any liability, damage, loss or claim that occurs in connection with use of the garden by the gardeners or any of their guests.    

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    Permaculture  for  small  spaces,  Ohio  University  April  14th,  15th,  &  22nd  2012    

Session: Introduction  &  Personal  Goals  

April 14th,  9:00am  –  9:30am   **Pre-­‐start  activity:    Name  tags  with  pictures  depicting  something  unique  about  you  and  a  place  you   have  or  would  like  to  travel  to.   Course  Objectives:   1. Participants  gain  a  basic  understanding  of  permaculture  principles   2. Participants  learn  a  process  for  designing  permaculture  based  landscapes   3. Participants  are  empowered  to  design  their  own  permaculture  landscapes   Session  Objectives:   1. Introduce  the  course   2. Introduce  each  other   3. Establish  personal  goals  for  the  workshop   Time    



9 –  9:15  

Introduce the  course  

Thank you.  Instructor  quick  intro.    Goals  for  this  


Workshop, How  we  are  going  to  do  this  (course   schedule  written  up  –  explain  progression  to   development  and  installation  of  design)    

9:15 –  9:20   Establish  personal  goals  for  

What really  matters  is  what  you  want  to  get  out  of  

(4 min)  

the workshop  

this.  So  we  will  take  4  min  to  write  your  own  goal  in  

the blank  third  label  (active  voice).  

9:20 –  9:25    

Find the  person  in  the  room  you  know  the  least.    You  


will spend  2  minutes  telling  them  name,  goal,  how  got   to  Athens  and  anything  else  you  have  time  for.    You   will  then  switch.    Your  partner  is  then  responsible  for   introducing  you  and  your  goal  

9:25-­‐ 9:30  

Introduce each  other  

30 sec.  intros  of  each  other  

(5min) Materials:    Weekend  Schedule  posted  in  the  room   Markers/colored  pens,  sticky  name-­‐tags,  Fun  cards  for  goals  –  bring  in  my  box  of  scrap  paper.  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide     Permaculture  for  small  spaces,  Ohio  University  April  14th,  15th,  &  22nd  2012    

Session: Pc  Overview  w/  emphasis  on  small  spaces   April  14th,  9:30am  –  10:00am   Inside  

Course  Objectives:   1. Participants  gain  a  basic  understanding  of  permaculture  principles   2. Participants  learn  a  process  for  designing  permaculture  based  landscapes   3. Participants  are  empowered  to  design  their  own  permaculture  landscapes   Session  Objectives:   1. Understand  a  basic  definition  of  Permaculture   2. Understand  what  components  we  address  in  this  workshop   3. Identify  small  space  adaptations  for  growing  food   a. Containers   b. Rooftops   c.

Dimensions –  growing  vertically  

d. Stacking functions   e. Taking  advantage  of  microclimates  –  the  Fig.   Time  



9:30 –  10:00  (see  pp  for  


Now we  know  each  other,  we  


know what  we  want  to  do,  so   what  is  Pc?  Does  anyone   already  know  what  Pc  is?      




Now we  know  what  we  want  to  learn  from  this  

People shaking  hands,    

workshop, we  know  each  other,    

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    

and it’s  time  to  introduce  ourselves  to  Pc  

people shaking  hands  with  Pc  

When you  hear  Pc  what  do  you  think  of?  

(write words  on  flip  chart)  

Maybe that’s  a  little  too  much  too  soon.  How  do  the  

Describes an  “integrated,  

experts define  Pc?    First  coined  by  Mollison  and  

evolving system  of  perennial  or  

Holmgren as    (Holmgren,  Mollison).    Please  note,  

self-­‐perpetuating plant  and  

this is  not  entirely  new,  perhaps  newly  defined  but  

animal species  useful  to  man.”  

there are  cultures  who  reflect  this.  

(Mollison &  Holmgren,   Permaculture  One.  Corgi,  1978  

Evolved to….  

“Consciously designed   landscapes  which  mimic  the   patterns  and  relationships   found  in  nature,    

while yielding  an  abundance  of   food,  fibre  and  energy    

So, providing  for  our  needs  by  consciously  

for provision  of  local  needs.”  

designing our  landscapes  to  mimic  elements  of  

(Holmgren, Permaculture:  


Principles and  pathways  beyond   sustainability.  2002  

Another definition,  

“Permaculture is  about   designing  sustainable  human   settlements  through  ecology   and  design.(click).  It  is  a   philosophy  and  an  approach  to   land  use  which  weaves   together  microclimates,  annual   and  perennial  plants,  animals,   soils,  water  management  and   human  needs  into  intricately   connected  productive   communities’  (Bill  Molison  &   Reny  Mia  Slay,  Introduction  to   Permaculture)  

Permanent Culture  /   permanent  agriculture  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide    

I like  to  think  of  it  as  applied  systems  thinking,  and  

in this  way,  I  see  Permaculture  as  a  tool  for  creating   sustainable  lifestyles.      

Sustainability emphasizes  People,  planet,  profit  

Ven D  

While Permaculture  is  framed  around  the  ethics  of  

Ven D  

people care,  earth  care  and  resource  share   (distribute  surplus,  examine  consumption).     Permaculture  goes  a  step  further  than  sustainability   and  actually  provides  principles,  ethics  and   methods  for  designing  systems  that  enhance  and   support  positive    interactions  among  components   of  the  system  so  all  elements,  and  the  whole  system   thrives,  not  just  one  piece.        

There are  many  components  to  the  system  and  we  

Permaculture Flower  

have a  short  amount  of  time  so  will  only  be  looking   at  one  element  –  provide  for  some  food  needs  from   small  spaces.    

How can  we  do  this?  

Think in  dimensions  

Herb spiral,  vines,  multiple   tiers,  roof  tops  and  guinea  pigs   or  rabbits  

Know your  microclimate  

Figs, mints  or  other  spreaders,    

Multipurpose/ stack  functions  

Worm bench  


Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Permaculture  for  small  spaces,  Ohio  University  April  14th,  15th,  &  22nd  2012    

Session: Overview  of  Design  Process   April  14th,  1:15  –  1:30   Outside?  

Course Objectives:   1. Participants  gain  a  basic  understanding  of  permaculture  principles   2. Participants  learn  a  process  for  designing  permaculture  based  landscapes   3. Participants  are  empowered  to  design  their  own  permaculture  landscapes   Session  Objectives:   1. Understand  basic  design  Process  steps.       Time  


1:15 –  1:17  (2  

Explain directions,  Divide  into  small  groups,  hand  out  cards  

min) 1:17  –  1:25  (8  

Groups arrange  cards  in  ‘appropriate  order’  

min) 1:25  –  1:30  (5  

Go over  process  as  a  group  –What  steps  normally  get  skipped?  Why  do  we  need  


all these?  look  at  live  examples  or  pp  examples  of  each  stage  (have  ready  on  flip   chart  so  it  can  be  hung  up  and  people  can  see  the  progression.  

Materials:   Tape  to  hang  flip  charts,  display  board?       Design  process  cards  (as  per  Dave  Jacke  and  Eric  Toensmeier  in  Edible  Forest  Gardens)   -­‐

Goals articulation:    Define  what  you  want  the  space  to  yield  –  tangible  and  intangible  


Site analysis  and  assessment:    Make  a  map.  Identify  permanent  features  of  the  space  (sun,   wind,  water,  paths)  


Design concept  (general  bubble  diagrams)  


Design (plant  specifics,  successional  designs):  Schematic,  detailed,  Patch  





Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide     Permaculture  for  small  spaces,  Ohio  University  April  14th,  15th,  &  22nd  2012    

Session: Articulating  Goals   April  14th,  1:30    –  2:15   Outside?  

Course  Objectives:   1. Participants  gain  a  basic  understanding  of  permaculture  principles   2. Participants  learn  a  process  for  designing  permaculture  based  landscapes   3. Participants  are  empowered  to  design  their  own  permaculture  landscapes   Session  Objectives:   2. Understand  importance  of  establishing  goals   3. Know  what  questions  to  consider   4. Consider  all  stakeholders    

What happens  w/o  goals  

Why goals?  

They help  us  create  spaces  that  meet  our  

needs.  Simplify  our  job  of  designing,  save   us  time,  provide  direction  


Whose goals?  

Stake holders  –  OoS,  Grounds,  Ecohouse  

residents, public  viewing  the  house  

Where to  start/  What  questions  to  ask  

Go through  cheat  sheet,  give  examples  of  


ID key  components  

So, I’ve  spoken  with  the  stakeholders  with   the  exception  of  the  public.    I  basicly  want   to  relay  the  information  to  you  so  you  can   grab  key  important  elements  and  use  that   information  to  create  a  written  summary.       1. Susan  –  deer,  mowing,  will  provide   seasonal  maintenance  such  as  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   pruning  if  given  instructions,  but   the  space  is  yours.    Moving  away   from  ground  covers  on  campus   2. OoS  –  aesthetics,  native,  if  non-­‐ native  must  not  spread  and  must   explain  why  it  is  important,  adapted   to  local  conditions,  minimal   maintenance   3. Residents  –  (9  min)      

Interview tactics  –  you  don’t  have  to  be  an  

What questions  did  I  ask,  what  actually  got  

expert    Breakdown  goals  as  interview  is  

a response?  

playing and  write  them  on  the  board.      

Written summary  –  mission  statement  

Anything I  didn’t  ask  about?    EDU!   Here’s  the  fun  part,  compiling  it  all  into  an   active,  present  tense  statement.      


Different levels  of  detail.  Goals  may  evolve   during  the  design  process  

The Pc  garden  at  the  Ecohouse  is  an   inviting,  aesthetic,  low-­‐maintenance  garden   ecosystem  yielding  a  seasonal  variety  of   color,  useful  herbs,  food  and  educational   opportunities.    

Materials   Voice  recorder  &  speakers.  Goal  Sheet,  flip  chart,              

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Permaculture  (Pc)  Workshop:  Report   Jessica  Bilecki     5/29/2012     Overview   The  purpose  of  running  a  permaculture  workshop  at  the  EcoHouse  was  to  educate  and  empower   community  members  to  design  their  own  permaculture  landscaping  while  transitioning  EcoHouse   landscaping  to  be  more  productive,  ecologically  sound,  aesthetic  and  low-­‐maintenance.    This  not   only  educates  participants,  but  EcoHouse  residents  and  future  tour  groups.   The  workshop  occurred  Saturday  April  14th,  Sunday  April  15th,  and  Sunday  April  22nd,  2012.     Building  21  at  the  ridges  was  reserved  for  the  first  weekend.    A  total  of  8  ±  2  people  on  any  given   day  participated.    Sessions  were  taught  by  myself,  Weston  Lombard  and  Kurt  Belser  (See  Staff  Bios   for  more  information).    The  first  weekend  focused  on  introducing  principles  of  permaculture  and   learning  the  design  Process.    The  second  day  participants  spent  in  small  groups  coming  up  with   their  own  designs,  and  the  third  day  was  a  work  day  to  install  plants  (See  the  schedule  for  full   details).    A  detailed  map  of  what  is  planted  where  is  in  the  Pc  Workshop  file.   Essential  Implementation  elements  and  processes   One  main  coordinator  from  the  Office  of  Sustainability  –  This  person  was  responsible  for  all  logistics,   renting  the  classroom,  purchasing  food,  putting  together  a  flyer,  coordinating  registration,   corresponding  with  participants,  establishing  a  budget  and  organizing  meetings  with  co-­‐teachers.   Co-­‐Teachers  –  Having  two  local  professionals  from  the  region  was  essential.    It  helped  with  the  OoS   person’s  work  load,  helped  students  realize  there  is  a  town  outside  of  the  campus  and  provided   participants  with  a  variety  of  teaching  styles.  Each  co-­‐teacher  received  a  $1,000  stipend  for  their   time  planning  and  implementing  the  workshop.       Kurt  Belser:  440.865.6305   Weston  Lombard:  740.856.6299   Marketing  –  Flyers  were  posted  on  campus  and  around  town.    The  workshop  was  featured  in   Routes,  it  was  posted  on  the  OoS  website,  and  a  few  select  emails  to  teachers  were  sent.    This  part   could  definitely  be  expanded.      

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Registration  –  To  register,  participants  simply  sent  an  email  to  expressing   their  interest.    All  Pc  emails  were  forwarded  to  me.    I  then  recorded  the  person’s  name  and  email  in   an  Excel  spreadsheet  and  sent  a  confirmation  email  explaining  that  they  were  registered  and  would   receive  detailed  information  closer  to  the  day.     Orientation  Materials  –  This  is  an  essential  document  that  reminds  people  they  are  signed  up  for  the   event,  explains  where  to  meet,  where  to  park,  what  to  bring  and  what  to  expect.       Building  and  Parking  –  Contact  the  Management  Service  Coordinator  for  the  Voinovich   School,Trenia  Tyman  to  reserve  a  room  in  building  21.  The  Telephone  number  is  740.597.1460.  A   building  walkthrough  is  required  before  the  event.    If  the  workshop  occurs  during  non-­‐business   hours  you  will  also  need  to  pick  up  the  key.  You  could  call  parking  services  to  verify  that  parking   rules  have  not  changed.    Parking  was  allowed  on  the  weekends  in  the  larger  parking  lots  to  the   buildings  left.     Food:  I  only  ordered  food  for  the  first  weekend.    There  were  mini-­‐muffins  and  fruit  in  the  morning   and  a  veggie  tray  in  the  afternoon.  Culinary  Services  offers  an  entire  catering  menu  which  is  online.     If  you  want  food  from  the  farmers  market,  I’m  not  sure  what  the  proper  avenue  is,  but  I  do  know  it   may  take  a  bit  of  time  to  figure  out  so  start  early.    (I  asked  about  it  but  was  told  there  was  “nothing   in  season”  even  though  I  also  supplied  a  list  of  vegetables  and  fruit  that  were  in  deed  in  season  and   available  at  the  Farmers  Market)  Also,  there  was  Equal  Exchange  tea,  coffee  and  pitchers  of  water   NOT  bottles.   Waste:  Participants  were  told  this  would  be  a  zero  waste  event  and  instructed  to  bring  their  own   cloth  napkins,  cups  and  dishware.    Catering  Services  did  supply  us  with  compostable  plates  and   utensils  the  second  day.    However,  the  event  organizer  needs  to  arrange  where  compost  will  go.    In   this  case,  Weston  took  it  back  to  his  farm.   Ordering  Plants:    I  would  not  necessarily  repeat  this  (read  ‘What  I  learned’).    Three  different  groups   of  students  all  came  up  with  designs  for  the  space.    Then,  Monday  and  Tuesday,  before  Market  on   Wednesday,  teachers  looked  over  the  designs  and  tried  to  make  one  master  design  for  the  group  to   install  the  following  Sunday.    We  tried  to  incorporate  elements  of  everyone’s  design,  particularly   the  ones  all  students  responded  positively  too.    The  largest  limiting  factor  was  plant  availability  for   the  time  of  year.    If  we  had  a  design  ahead  of  time  we  could  have  ordered  accordingly,  but  then  we   wouldn’t  be  installing  student  designs.*  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   Tools    -­‐  Grounds  and  Maintenance  lent  us  a  wheel  barrow,  shovels,  short-­‐tined  rakes,  trowels  and   potting  buckets.    I  asked  the  head  of  Grounds  about  this  well  in  advance  and  then  1  week  prior  to   the  event  sent  a  tool  request.  We  needed  to  coordinate  drop  off  and  pick  up  on  Friday  and  Monday   as  the  tools  need  to  be  locked  in  the  EcoHouse  shed.       What  I  learned   •

*As the  program  continues  it  may  be  worthwhile  to  have  one  area  planned  out  before  the   course,  and  have  students  design  a  second  area.  Then  you  could  order  plants  ahead  of  time   for  the  predetermined  design,  and  implement  student  designs  the  next  time  around.        

Based on  comments  from  other  people  it  seems  like  there  would  be  general  interest  in  an   evening  talk/lecture  about  Permaculture  

3 Days  really  is  a  long  time  for  people  to  commit  to,  granted  it  is  very  short  for  a   permaculture  course.  

Students  enjoyed  mixed  teaching  methods,  See  student  evaluations  for  more  comments  

The event  being  Free  was  key  

Students were  very  excited  that  the  course  incorporated  both  design  and  implementation  

It is  hard  to  get  students  back  the  second  weekend  for  planting  

Not all  who  registered  showed  up.  Either  expect  this  or  have  people  place  a  deposit  on  their   registration  

Students do  not  have  a  lot  of  time.    While  it  is  nice  to  have  all  of  them  think  about  designing   a  large  space,  you  will  get  more  detailed  designs  the  smaller  the  space  you  give  them  to   design.    Perhaps  each  group  designs  a  separate  patch  

Installation &  Maintenance   There  is  now  a  map  that  is  to  scale  of  the  front  of  the  EcoHouse.    In  addition,  I  have  created  a  map  of   all  the  plants  we  put  in.    Circles  represent  plants  at  their  mature  widths.   Essential  Maintenance:     •

Move the  pear  tree  THIS  FALL  (2012).    It  will  get  huge  and  shade  out  the  front  of  the  house  

Sheet mulch  twice  a  year.  Sheet  mulching  suppresses  weeds  (without  the  use  of  chemicals)   and  adds  nutrients  and  organic  matter  to  the  soil.  To  sheet  mulch:   o

Do not  weed  


Add a  thin  layer  of  compost,  1  –  2  inches  

Ohio University  Ecohouse  Residential  Guide   o

On top  of  this  add  a  layer  of  cardboard.    Make  sure  layers  of  cardboard  overlap  to   avoid  weeds  coming  up  through  the  cracks  


If it  is  windy,  wet  down  the  cardboard  to  keep  it  from  sliding  and  blowing  away.  


Add a  thick  layer  of  wood  chips.    If  weeds  are  bad  add  a  layer  about  6  inches  thick,  if   they  are  not  bad,  2  –  4  inches  should  be  fine.    

Spot weed  as  needed,  though  if  the  mulching  is  done  properly  it  won’t  be  too  difficult.      

Water as  needed.  Once  plants  are  well  established  this  should  be  done  more  on  a  weekly   basis  than  a  daily  basis.    Though  who  knows  with  the  weather.      

Eventual Maintenance   •

Prune the  service  berry  if  it  gets  too  tall  

Gooseberries may  need  to  be  thinned  and  their  canes  pruned.  

For specific  pruning  tips  simply  google  ‘pruning  gooseberries’  for  more  details  and  pictures.  

Branches of  the  Goji  will  root  where  they  touch  the  ground.    If  you  don’t  mind  it  spreading     let  it  be.    If  you  don’t  want  it  to  spread  out  you  can  trellis  the  branches  so  they  stay  off  the   ground.  

If the  bare  spaces  are  getting  weedy  consider  planting  more  to  fill  in  the  space  for  the  time   being  and  removing  it  or  letting  it  die  when  it  gets  crowded  out.  

Moving forward   •

Repeat with  a  different  space  and  keep  pushing  those  edges!  

Create an  EcoHouse  Landscape  Guide  eBook  (Like  Weston’s  slideshow)  that  give  necessary   details  for  each  plant.    Information  should  include:  picture,  common  name,  Latin  name,  sun   requirements,  water  requirements,  maintenance  tips,  uses  &  suggestions  of  additional   plants  for  appropriate  areas:  Multipurpose  fruit  ,  culinary,  tea  &  medicinal.  

OHIO Ecohouse Residential Guide  

The OHIO Ecohouse Residential Guide is a binder that was created as a resource for Ecohouse residents. The guidebook contains sections th...

OHIO Ecohouse Residential Guide  

The OHIO Ecohouse Residential Guide is a binder that was created as a resource for Ecohouse residents. The guidebook contains sections th...