14 November 2010
From the Franklin News Pose
Monday, November 8, 2010
By JOEL TURNER - Staff Writer
After years of planning and construction, the Center for Energy Efficient Design (CEED) will be dedicated on Wednesday, Nov. 17 on the campus of the Gereau Center.
The CEED is a state-of-the-art educational center and template for residential and educational construction for the 21st Century.
"It is a 21st Century creation that combines cutting-edge 'green' technology with modern advancements in education," said Kevin Bezy, principal of the Gereau Center.
The dedication will begin at 10 a.m. on Nov. 17.
The CEED is an energy-studies building, featuring a variety of energy-saving features and energy-producing devices, Bezy said.
At the center, students from Franklin County and surrounding school districts will study and analyze efficient ways of saving and producing energy. The primary focus is on responding to the changing dynamics of the environment.
The CEED will have a number of versatile uses. It will be a classroom for Franklin County students, a field trip destination for surrounding school districts, and a place where citizens and builders can view and learn about energy-producing devices and energy-saving building techniques.
The center is the brainchild of John Richardson and Neil Sigmon, two teachers at the Gereau Center.
The CEED has already won an award even before it opens.
Earlier this year, Franklin County schools was awarded the "2010 Cool Citizen Award" in the Government Category by the Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition for support of environmental education.
The CEED will have classrooms where students can study energy sources, including solar, wind and others.
It will include learning laboratories for hands-on instruction and projects related to the building design and advanced systems features.
The state-of-the-art educational center will be a net zero energy efficient building. Using technologies that include PassivHaus design, earth berming, south facing solar orientation, thermal mass, geothermal energy, photovaltaics, solar hot water heaters, electricity-producing wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, energy efficient appliances, and daylighting, the building will produce more energy than it needs to operate.
The CEED will address problem-based learning with classrooms and other areas for students to work individually, in small groups or in large groups.
Biology, chemistry and physics will be taught in the broader context of environmental science and architecture.
The initial phases of the energy efficient design project were completed earlier. These included the installation of solar hot water heaters at the Gereau Center, solar crossing lights, three solar lights for the school parking lot and two wind turbines.
The center, which was four years in the planning, cost approximately $850,000, with more than $200,000 in-kind donations from building firms and other businesses.
The project has been funded partly with more than $400,000 in federal grants.
Structures Design/Build, LLC, a Roanoke company, constructed the center.