Albright College Opening Sustainability House for Environmentally Conscious Students
Aug. 18, 2014
Reading, Pa. – Albright College's ongoing efforts to promote eco-friendly living on campus and beyond is going a step further this school year with the opening of the new Sustainability House.
The first student housing option tied directly into the academic curriculum, the Sustainability House, located on North 14th Street, will house five undergraduates interested in living environmentally sustainable lives.
The students will engage in green activities in the house, such as recycling and tracking their energy use, water consumption and waste. They will maintain a blog, develop a relevant event for students on campus, and write a grant application for a capital item for the house, such as a solar panel. The Sustainability House backs up to the Albright College Community Garden, and house residents will help maintain a plot there.
"This is an exciting new initiative that bridges student life and academic life in a new and seamless way at Albright College," said Gina Crance, vice president for student affairs and dean of students.
Sustainability House students are not required to major in environmental studies or environmental science, but must be interested in living sustainably.
The Sustainability House is part of Albright's successful affinity housing program. Entering its third year, affinity houses are College-owned properties where like-minded students reside in a living-learning community, united by common social activities or academic interests, such as the Club Vogue house for fashion students. Affinity house residents engage in philanthropy and organize programs on campus. There are eight affinity houses, including the Sustainability House, lodging about 35 students. The Sustainability House is the first one in which faculty have committed to developing a formal curricular component.
The Sustainability House joins a long and growing list of green initiatives adopted by Albright in recent years. Several years ago, the College began operating a cogeneration plant, which uses a combustion turbine with a waste-heat recovery boiler that reduces the campus's carbon footprint by producing power on-site and recovering waste heat. The system uses more of the energy in fuel than typical operations.
Albright College’s renovated and expanded Science Center received LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is the preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
And the Albright Community Garden, now in its third year, provides space for faculty/staff and residents from the surrounding neighborhood to tend to and cultivate their own plots. Fruits and vegetables grown in the rest of the garden are sold on campus, and student interns working in the garden promote eco-friendly living on campus and beyond. The garden, which employs permaculture, a design process promoting agricultural, environmental, architectural, technological and economical sustainability, utilizes recycled products from campus.
Founded in 1856, Albright College is a selective, national liberal arts college enrolling 1,700 full-time undergraduates and more than 800 adult learners and graduate students. The College’s flexible interdisciplinary curriculum, strengthened by a close-knit residential learning environment, encourages students to combine majors and disciplines to create individualized academic programs. Close faculty mentorship, numerous experiential learning options, and a diverse, supportive community of scholars and learners help students exceed their own expectations and graduate with a commitment to a lifetime of service and learning. Albright College is located in Reading, Pennsylvania.
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