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Alternate Energy Sources

What Wilson is Doing:




There is no air conditioning in the EcoDorm. There are also no mini-refrigerators, toaster ovens, or hair dryers. Residents are encouraged to forego television and synthetic rugs, and to hang their clothes out to dry. A 10,000 gallon salvaged train tanker car holds rainwater from the roof before it is pumped into the dorm, pressurized, and used to flush toilets, as well as to irrigate the garden. Behind the dorm, solar panels preheat water to be piped inside for further heating by high-efficiency boilers. Workers install the hydromatic (radiant hot water) floor heat system. The water is preheated in a solar collector, reducing the energy cost by half. Permaculture produces an aesthetically pleasing, functional landscape. Most of the plantings are edible, and all are wildlife-friendly. Student-crafted oak cabinetry recovered from old fences is set off well by daylighting, which allows sunlight to reach interior and rear rooms of the building. In the mechanical room, a computer monitoring station tracks the building’s energy usage and savings.


• Wood siding comes from trees subject to pinebeetle
kill in the Warren Wilson forests
• SIPs (structural insulated panels) create a tight,
strong building envelope
• Orientation within ten degrees of true south
allows the best collection of passive solar energy
• Window awnings include panels made up of
photovoltaic cells, with any excess energy
pushed upstream
• Window overhangs provide shade in the
summer and allow maximum angle of winter sun
• Solar panel array preheats water further heated
by high-efficiency (92%) boilers
• Roof is largely made of recycled and 100%
recyclable steel
• Salvaged train tanker car collects rainwater
from roof for flushing and outside watering
• Permaculture landscaping includes many varieties
of herbs, vegetables, fruit trees, berries, and vines
• Cabinetry and wainscoting crafted by student crew
come from old farm fences on campus
• Concrete floors downstairs enhance the thermal
mass; tile floor upstairs is recycled material
• Circular pump moves heated water through plastic
tubing to create hydromatic floor heat
• Appliances are ENERGY STAR rated
• Computer monitoring station tracks building’s
energy usage and savings
• Mechanically controlled fresh air is created by heat
recovery ventilators and efficient ceiling fans
• Non-toxic materials are used for framing, paints,
and sealers
• Composting toilets reduce the load on the local
treatment plant and infrastructure and create
odorless, safe, organic matter for use in landscaping
• Daylighting enables sun to reach interior and rear
rooms; windows are low-e, argon filled, and highefficiency



Solar panels at FMTS

Water saving toliets at the village