This project is designed to help high school students discover how to live, and flourish, in a carbon free world. It will operate, year round, without the use of carbon fuels. Careful design using energy and light modeling reduces energy usage to the minimum. Photovoltaic panels and gravity fed water supply the necessary energy.

South Kent School’s Center for Innovation (CFI) is being designed to both LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy Building standards. The new center will serve the school’s educational needs and accommodate as many as 300 visitors for various community events. The ultimate aim is to establish an environmental campus that is totally heated and powered by the sun; grows enough food – year round and onsite – to feed the entire academic community; consumes no externally sourced water; and causes zero pollution. Among the elements that will eliminate the campus carbon footprint are: photovoltaic panels for electricity; a solar bio-shelter that enables year-round agriculture; permaculture landscaping and husbandry; passive solar building design for heat and natural lighting; natural ventilation; and super insulation. Augmenting the solar power arrays and serving as teaching tools will be onsite renewable energy generating systems, such as wind and hydro technologies.

Bordering a scenic pond on a 128-acre site near the existing campus, the Center for Innovation will consist of a cluster of academic buildings, organic gardens and orchards, a greenhouse, permaculture landscaping, husbandry facilities, and constructed wetlands for storm water treatment. The first of the project phases calls for the cleanup and improvement of the former dairy farm and the establishment of the new organic farm. The second phase will encompass the construction of the central Community Building, which will house a 300-seat, multi-purpose event space, visitor services, and media studio, and the Environmental Building, which will contain a science laboratory and a bio-shelter, or solar greenhouse, that supports an indoor ecosystem. A Technology Building, new farm crops and support buildings, and renovations to existing facilities are slated for development in future phases.

One of the key members of the design team is a LEED AP as well as accredited by the International Living Future Institute, the organization that oversees the Living Building Challenge program.
Founded in 1923, South Kent School offers college preparatory instruction to boys in grades 9 through 12.

Renderings © Centerbrook