UAF unveils cold weather housing experiment 

By Jeff Richardson | Fairbanks Daily News Miner: The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ grand experiment in sustainable student housing has officially begun.

UAF unveiled its newest housing development, the Sustainable Village, on Wednesday. Unlike the generic dorms scattered across most campuses, the units form a living research project that supporters say could reshape construction techniques in the North.

In terms of student housing, the development is barely a blip among the hundreds of units offered on campus — the four buildings house just 17 students. But the Sustainable Village, built amid a spruce forest in cooperation with the neighboring Cold Climate Housing Research Center, will be watched closely in the years ahead as a model for efficient cold-weather construction.

“This is an example of what’s possible — just a small one,” CCHRC President Jack Hebert said.

Using a combination of student suggestions, proven techniques and experimental design, the development was erected in just five months. It emphasized sustainability, with little heavy equipment used. Even the trees on the site were chipped to be used on the pathways between buildings.


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