Macalester College Eco-House

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Macalester College Eco-House
General information
Location 200 Vernon Street, St. Paul, Minnesota
Website
http://www.macalester.edu/ecohouse/index.htm

Macalester College Eco-House is one of the many specialty housing options available to students at Macalester College after their first year. The Eco-House is the project of Chris Wells, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and began in Fall 2007 with the move-in of four student residents. In the summer of 2007, prior to its opening, the Eco-House underwent significant "green" renovations in order to make the 1950s-era house livable and to decrease its environmental footprint.

The Vision for the Project[edit]

The Eco-House is intended as a place for students to "explore practical green-living lifestyles, to test the effectiveness of new green technologies, and to work with community partners to develop better resources on green renovations and sustainable lifestyles".[1] The house is also intended as a laboratory for testing the cost effectiveness and energy use of a variety of technologies and home renovations. Eco-House residents also host events, and workshops to draw attention to environmental issues on campus and to share energy-saving and environmentally friendly living techniques with the Macalester-Groveland community.

Renovations[edit]

The renovations for the Macalester College Eco-House took place in the summer of 2007 and were conducted with a budget of $50,000 with the intent of making both affordable changes and including a few showcase items for the house that could be used as examples of environmentally friendly renovations for the college community.

These renovations included:[2]

  • Additional wall and attic insulation
  • Stone coated steel shingling with an average lifespan of around 70 years
  • Solar heated hot water from a solar panel on the garage roof
  • Compact fluorescent lighting
  • SolarTube skylight in the bathroom
  • Aerated sinks and showerhead
  • Dual-flush toilet
  • Energy-star rated appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer
  • Paperstone countertops in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Glass block basement windows

Press Coverage[edit]

The Eco-House has also been the subject of much attention in local media, with large media outlets such as the Star Tribune newspaper[3] and Minnesota Public Radio News[4] both doing stories on the project, as well as The Villager[5] and a variety of Macalester College publications.[6][7]

References[edit]