Notes from the Cube: Hydro on Display

For many of us, basements are an afterthought, their contents hidden from view. Not here at Centerbrook. We cut holes in the floor just to see what’s down there.

Granted, we have a pretty neat basement. It houses our 10-kW low-head hydropower turbine and its supporting infrastructure. Since 1982, whenever water flows over our dam, it produces power. A constant thrum under the Cube’s floor was our only reminder of its operation, until now.

Our facilities manager extraordinaire, Ron Campbell, recently installed a portal that brings the hydro-gear into full view. Ever precise in his work, Ron centered it on the turbine, its holding tank, and the tail race beneath where the water exits.

Hovering 14 feet above the turbine, the portal’s glass cover –fabricated by Lucid Glass Studio of East Providence –is a three-layer sandwich topped with an anti-skid frit. A full 1 ¼” thick, its tempered low-iron glass is plenty sturdy and provides a dramatic, though slightly vertiginous view of the happenings below. Cold-formed and secured to oak floor joists, a circular maple frame supports the glass, which is protected by a neoprene pad in between.

Up next: the turbine, tank, and flowing water will be lit under the theatrical lighting direction of Partner Chad Floyd.

Chris Hill
Chris is Centerbrook’s Director of Business Development. A 1994 graduate of Gettysburg College, he spent six years in Washington, DC as an aide to U. S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and as deputy director of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation for America’s Heritage Abroad. He returned to his native Connecticut in 2001, serving for two years as a development officer at The Nature Conservancy before joining Centerbrook.
Chris Hill

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About Chris Hill

Chris is Centerbrook’s Director of Business Development. A 1994 graduate of Gettysburg College, he spent six years in Washington, DC as an aide to U. S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and as deputy director of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation for America’s Heritage Abroad. He returned to his native Connecticut in 2001, serving for two years as a development officer at The Nature Conservancy before joining Centerbrook.