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Warren Wilson College
Campus Box 6323
P.O. Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000


Please refer comments or questions about this website to Ellen Querin.


Building Site

The Orr Cottage was built on the site of a pre-existing building (The Early Learning Center of Warren Wilson College). Building on a pre-existing site is in line with LEED certification and reduces the “footprint” of constructing a new building on a virgin area.

Locally sourced products:

Hardwood from Warren Wilson College’s forest  is used for the flooring, trim waynes coating and siding of the Orr Cottage.

Opposed to conventional 2x4 construction, 2x6 construction allows for an added two inches of depth which results in a higher of insulation – beneficial for energy efficiency as well as muffling sounds pollution from outside.

Finger jointing is a building technique which bonds shorter sections of lumber into longer sections of lumber resulting in the use of more lumber from each log. In the construction of the Orr Cottage finger jointed studs were made from scrap wood resulting in the use of what would be waste wood.

The doors in the Orr Cottage are salvaged doors from pre-existing buildings in the area.  In addition, some walls in the Orr Cottage are made from reused French doors.

The desks in the downstairs of the Orr Cottage are made from reused filling cabinets with wheatboard tabletops. The upstairs desks are reused from a local bank.


“Low-emittance (Low-E) coating are microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window or skylight glazing surface primarily to reduce the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow. The principal mechanism of heat transfer in multilayer glazing is thermal radiation from a warm pane of glass to a cooler pane. Coating a glass surface with a low-emittance material and facing that coating into the gap between the glass layers blocks a significant amount of this radiant heat transfer, thus lowering the total heat flow through the window. Low-E coatings are transparent to visible light. Different types of Low-E coatings have been designed to allow for high solar gain, moderate solar gain, or low solar gain.” www.efficientwindows.org

California Corners:

“California Corners” is a framing technique designed to achieve greater energy efficiency.  Traditional framing leaves little room for adequate insulation, resulting energy loss. The California method allows easy access and ability to insulate. Using Nu-Wool Insulation in this space results in energy savings for the life of the structure.

Installed on the exterior of the building, light shelves perform three main functions: (1) Keep sun off building in summer (2) reduce glare onto workstations in winter (3) reflect light onto ceiling, increasing lumens in daylighting (light energy)