Living lab’ will test efficiency as new UAF dorm 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska Fairbanks is building a dormitory it hopes will serve as a living laboratory to study renewable energy, gray-water recycling and elements of hyper-efficient design.

The $1 million project, called the Sustainable Village, is being designed to test efficiency and low operating costs, according to The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

The first phase of the village will house 16 students who will also serve as researchers. They will live in clusters that each house between 4 and 6 people.

“It just seemed like a wonderful opportunity,” said Cold Climate Housing Research Center President Jack Hebert, whose organization is partnering with the university on the project.

The village, which will be on a roughly 60-acre plot on campus, will emphasize local building materials and environmentally sound land use. A community garden, shared open space and network of footpaths will be integrated among the buildings.

Construction on the project was expected to begin in April.

“We want to transform our campus life, and this is really a step in that direction,” said University of Alaska Fairbanks Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Pat Pitney. Read more

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