The homes are up, the students are moved in, and the heat is on! The construction site has been quickly transformed into homes with the arrival of students. Boxes of nails and piles of pipe fittings have been replaced with furniture, books, food, bikes and other everyday objects. The homes have a warm, homey feel on the inside and a very unique and eclectic yet natural look from the outside–a patchwork of bright colors and materials while surrounded by aspen, spruce, and natural habitat.
The Village is not just homes but also a research project, and science and innovation have been embedded throughout the site. Pressure transducers, flow meters, and other sensors are wired to data loggers and mini computers in each of the mechanical rooms to track how much fuel is being consumed and how much heat is being produced off the solar collectors. Thermistors in the ground will tell us whether heat is leaking through the foundation and whether the passive cooling system in the raft foundation is working. Students will help measure electricity, fuel use (of the pellet stove) and potentially many other aspects of the home’s performance.
Workers are doing finishing touches on deck railings, paint, and trim. But for the most part, the Village is looking complete. It’s exciting to see students starting a new chapter at the same time the Sustainable Village comes to life!