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Full Circle: Blackfeet Community College’s 4 New (yet Old) Building Technologies

Full circle: Blackfeet Community College’s 4 new (yet old) building technologies

Making old technologies new again!

1. Classrooms without light and heat.

  • The owners knew that classrooms have down-time (incl nights & weekends) so they installed light & heat sensors which kick in as soon as someone enters the room.

2. Urinals don’t flush.

  • The waterless urinals drain naturally by gravity – a feature which eliminates water and sewer charges for the owners (Note: saving just 12 flushes per day saves 24,000 liters of water per year!) These waterless units are now mandatory in Arizona state buildings; even the New York Mets Citi Field Stadium is using them.

3. Landscape au natural.

  • There are no grassy meadows or exotic imported flowers to water. The strategy is referred to as xeriscaping, or the term I prefer, indigenous landscaping which focuses on utilizing plants that are local to the area. (Landscaping will be completed this summer).

4. Earth covered building.

  • Like the earth houses of long ago, the earths constant 45-58 F temperature helps with both heating and cooling, blocking the cold winds and using the earths mass to insulate the exterior walls.

These technologies, as part of the LEED Platinum strategy, will create a 42% savings in energy costs for the college. The 13,000 square feet project is located in Browning, Montana. The building was designed by Gordon Whirry Architect.

Image credits: Gordon Whirry Architect

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