Kohler Environmental Center (KEC)-Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet - A Working Laboratory
• Located in Wallingford, Connecticut on the Choate Rosemary Hall campus
• The first teaching, research and residential environmental center in U.S. secondary education
• The KEC is made possible by alumnus Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., Choate Class of 1957, and Chairman and CEO of Kohler Co.
• Achieved LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council
• Number of preparatory school students residing in the new KEC: 14, with a capacity of 20
• Other residents include: two faculty members
• Size: The academic center and working laboratory is a 31,800-square-foot structure
• Land: 266 acres
• Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP
• Construction: Shawmut Design and Construction
• Headmaster of Choate Rosemary Hall: Alex D. Curtis
• The year-long honors curriculum promotes environmental understanding, land stewardship and social responsibility
• Students and faculty will be challenged to achieve net-zero energy consumption
• Each student will design and carry out a year-long individual research project in history, the social sciences, or the natural sciences
• "What sets this facility apart is much more than just a green building and green design," said Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. "The high level of ecological literacy offered to these students and faculty will give them the truest experience of what it means to live sustainably."
Living Net Zero
• Between their studies and extracurricular activities, the KEC students will constantly manage their environment to be net zero – the goal being to consume no more energy than the building produces over the course of a year. Energy monitors throughout the facility will trace energy usage and help teach energy conservation.
• The net-zero energy operation is made possible because of features such as an acre of 296-kilowatt photovoltaic panels that provide energy to operate the facility, a roof-mounted solar water-heating system, a geothermal heat pump, and a waste vegetable oil burner to heat the greenhouse.
• "The Kohler Environmental Center is a major port of call on our shared journey of academic discovery," said Headmaster Alex D. Curtis, "This, its inaugural year, will be one of tremendous excitement and immense exploration. At Choate, we've always been leading edge; the KEC is another example of us leading the way. Emphasizing the best of collaborative learning, the KEC is the ultimate working, living laboratory; and as the first teaching, research and environmental center in U.S. secondary education, it will offer endless possibilities for learning, growth and change."
Sustainable Design, Green Features
• Ground-mounted array of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels for supporting energy self-sufficiency
• Energy monitors in living spaces and common rooms to track energy usage and to help teach energy conservation
• High-efficiency KOHLER plumbing products for low-water usage
• Dorm room lights, desk lamps and fans are all controlled with lighting control systems tied into an occupancy sensor to turn off if the room is vacant
• Cedar sunshades filter the southern exposure in summer while allowing winter sunlight in
• The controller for the rooftop evacuated-tube solar water-heating system allows occupants to evaluate their system needs and optimize systems with the hot water produced by solar energy. It also allows occupants to monitor and program system performance.
• A "dashboard" in the building's lobby will enable students to monitor their energy consumption and track the building's energy production. Flow meters are integrated into the building dashboard, which is also available to students on-line. This will allow the end users to monitor and measure systems performance and usage.
• Polished concrete floors were selected for corridors, labs, and the commons. This reduced material usage since tile, wood, or carpet was not necessary in these spaces. The corridors and classrooms will pick up solar gain in the winter from southern exposure for passive heating.