Unity College Green Dorm 

Unity College is putting themselves on the “green” map.As Meghan Hayward tells us, they’re building a passive house residence, the first of its kind in the United States.Unity College is taking the slogan “go green” to another level.”We really believe there has to be consistency between the lifestyle our students experience on campus and what we’re teaching in the classroom. So we’re always looking for how to promote new ideas and sustainability.”Which is why a passive house as a student residence seemed like the perfect addition.”In order for a building to be Passive House certified, it has to use 90 percent less energy than a standard code compliant building.”The TerraHaus, as they’ve named it, will use a solar heat pump instead of oil for heating and cooling. The house also has super insulation and three pane windows.”You build a super-insulated shell and you make it very air tight. You bring in fresh air with the ventilation system that recovers the heat that would otherwise just go out through the building.”This is the first college residence passive house in the United States.”If all buildings were built to this standard we would save tens of thousands of gallons of oil every year.”It will cost about $200 a year to heat the building.Ten students will live in the dorm.”They had to agree to give tours during the years and to self-educate themselves so they will be able to explain the features of the house.”Two other passive houses will be built. Those involved say they hope other colleges follow in their footsteps.