College of the Atlantic's Center for Human Ecology will incorporate German Passivhaus standards. College of the Atlantic's Center for Human Ecology will incorporate German Passivhaus standards.

In a news release, the College of the Atlantic said that the 29,000-square-foot Center for Human Ecology will be a multipurpose teaching and gathering space. It will include science laboratories, lecture halls, faculty offices, art studios, and a teaching greenhouse.

Key to the design is the use of mass timber components to replace concrete and steel, a move that will substantially lower the carbon footprint of the $13 million project.

The college is located next to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine, a spectacular setting facing the Atlantic Ocean. The school has made environmental stewardship a cornerstone of its program, and it’s topped The Princeton Review green list for the last three years.

The college has just 350 students and 35 faculty members, and offers a single undergraduate degree: a bachelor of arts in human ecology. Founded 50 years ago, COA in 2007 became the first carbon-neutral college and has pledged to stop using fossil fuels by 2030, according to its website.

The architects are GO Logic of nearby Belfast, Maine, and Susan T. Rodriguez Architecture – Design. GO Logic has designed other Passivhaus school projects, including a Montessori school in Belfast and an ecology center at the University of Chicago.

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