Design of an Energy Efficient Family Housing Complex:
As A Proposed Replacement for University Park
Currently the only family housing offered by The University of Maine is University Park, located off College Avenue approximately 0.3 miles from campus. University Park consists of 116 apartments ranging in size from 1 – 3 bedrooms. As with many of the buildings on campus the technology was very limited at the time when University Park was built compared to today. Thus University Park is an ideal candidate for vastly minimizing The University’s energy consumption. Today there are many new technologies available which stand to save on economical costs as well as minimize The University’s ecological footprint.
The objective of this project is to design, in detail, an energy efficient family housing complex utilizing all feasible technologies. Our goal is to bring together all of the best technologies in the field into one community, this will allow us to find an appropriate economy of scale, which may not be available to those seeking to build a single family home. Our final report will have detailed plans ready for implementation or modification. A large portion of our final report will be explained in an interactive website. The website will consist of all relevant plans, drawings, explanations, and 3-D renderings, which will allow viewers to compare and contrast all aspects of the current University Park with the proposed replacement.
Long Term Goals
Our goal is not so much to replace University Park, but rather to use University Park as a case study to acquire all relevant information required to design and construct a housing complex that can adequately suit the needs of similar families. All research and construction plans that result from this project are going to be available to all persons interested in energy efficient building design. As our society evolves it is important that it moves in a direction that is sustainable, not self-destructive. Our hope is that this project will serve as a medium to educate the University of Maine community about sustainable living practices. In order for this field to expand it takes time and investment. We view this project as an investment by the University of Maine’s for the future of all Maine people.
Maine has the principle natural resource required for the construction of sustainable housing: wood. The University of Maine has been a long time supporter of Maine’s lumber industry through research in paper products, with companies such as Georgia Pacific; as well as cutting edge technologies being developed in the ever expanding Advanced Engineering Wood Composite Center (AEWC). Lumber is naturally available, in Maine, and is replaceable in a much shorter time as compared with other building materials such as metal, or plastics, which have a resource life cycle based on geological time. Plastic and metal building materials also have a higher dependency on fossil fuels for manufacturing, making them drastically less sustainable than wood construction products. Thus Maine is poised to take the lead in sustainable home construction.
By investing time and research into demonstrating all available technology this project will pave the way for future sustainable housing construction in the state of Maine. Investing in sustainable technologies will not only be beneficial to the state’s environment, but also to its economy, at a time when it is needed.
Energy Efficient Housing Updated Tuesday, September 27, 2005