Category Archives: Sustainable Village

UAF Sustainable Village Week 12: blown-in cellulose and windows

During Week 12, we insulated walls of the second house with six inches of fiberglass batting on the inside and 8 inches of foam board on the outside. We also blew two feet of cellulose insulation into the roof of the first two homes. Cellulose is made from recycled material like newspaper and cardboard.

We also began installing windows in the homes. All windows are triple-pane, low-e argon filled, designed to minimize heat loss and avoid condensation in an extreme climate.

Each home will be sided with a different color combo, with a mix of metal siding and recycled steel pipe.

UAF Sustainable Village Week 11: spray foam, decking & Sheetrock

Week 11 was a productive one at the Sustainable Village. Workers continued to install EPS foam (2 layers of 4-inch sheets) in three of the homes with a REMOTE wall system. We also sprayed polyurethane foam around the rim joist to seal it up.

Each home has a large, south-facing deck on the second floor. We finished the decks with a spray-applied elastomeric coating, the same stuff used for truck-bed liners, a durable, weather-proof material that is less material-intensive than wood and requires no penetrations in the ceiling. We sprayed foam insulation underneath the deck in the first-floor ceiling to create a warm thermal break.

This week we started hanging Sheetrock in the homes where we had already finished plumbing and electric. The interior is starting to look livable! Now it’s time to select 16 lucky students who will make the Village home. If you’re interested, visit


Apply NOW to live in the UAF Sustainable Village!

Do you seek a different style of on-campus life? Do you want to know how to grow your own food? Are you excited about monitoring and reducing your energy consumption? Are you aware of your personal carbon footprint? If you answered yes to these questions, consider applying for residency for the 2012-2013 academic year at the UAF Sustainable Village!

By Cornerstone on June 15, 2012

Rendering of one home at the UAF Sustainable Village

The UAF Office of Sustainability is now accepting student applications for residency for the 2012-2013 academic year at the new UAF Sustainable Village. This opportunity is for students seeking a different style of on-campus life, wanting to know how to grow your own food and monitoring and reducing energy consumption.

The UAF Sustainable Village, UAF’s newest student housing, is a student-led and -driven initiative. Students have been integral to all stages of the process: from concept to design to construction. It is a demonstration of environmentally sustainable technologies in a residential setting and will provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Students will collect and disseminate information about sustainable building and living best practices, and encourage others to live in a more sustainable way.

The Sustainable Village is open to UAF students, sophomores through graduate. Students interested in living in the UAF Sustainable Village for the 2012-13 academic year need to complete this form and attach a signed UAF Sustainable Village Social Contract /Agreement. Selection is based on application and an interview with the Sustainable Village Committee.

Students interested in being part of the innovative, nationally recognized Sustainable Village and feel personally committed to sustainability, are encouraged to sign up. For more information visit the Sustainability Village website for more information or contact sustainability director Michele Hebert at or 907-388-6085.

Sustainable Village Week 10: electric, exterior foam & and spray foam

Workers began adding exterior foam to the homes, which will all have some version of a REMOTE wall-meaning the majority of insulation goes outside the vapor barrier and sheathing (learn more about the wall system here). Three homes will be insulated with 8 inches of EPS foam board and one will be filled with cellulose, for an R-value of 60 apiece. We also sprayed a foot of polyurethane foam insulation under one of the raised pile foundations, for an R-60 floor.

We trenched the communications lines and electric, and finally turned off the generator! Next up is spray foaming the rim joists, finalizing plumbing and electric, and hanging Sheetrock, which will probably begin later this week.


Sustainable Village Week 9

During Week 9, we installed ceiling vapor barriers, continued plumbing and wiring work, and started working on the electrical hook-up for the homes. After heavy rain over the weekend, and the ground is still frozen a few feet down, the site was temporarily transformed into a mud pit. This made it interesting to navigate heavy equipment and dig a trench for the power line. Nevertheless, we will have electricity by the end of the week!

Student carpenter on her view of the UAF Sustainable Village

Takpaan Weber is a UAF student from Anaktuvuk Pass, a small Iñupiat village in the Alaska Brooks Range. She describes her experience working on the UAF Sustainable Village and other low-energy experimental prototype homes she has helped build in rural Alaska.

Sustainable Village Week 8

Framing is underway on the 4th and final house. Workers began applying ceiling vapor barriers and Grace rain and ice shields (which act as a drainage plane) to the fully framed homes. Now we’re exploring options for siding and interior finishing, looking at a combination of donated, market-value, and reclaimed materials.

Sustainable Village Week 7: roofing, plumbing & mechanical

The Sustainable Village is moving right along. About 8 students are now working on the project. Week 7 brought more framing, trusses, plumbing and electrical.

The northwest home is fully framed and wrapped in an exterior air barrier. Lead plumber Dawson worked with several engineering students on the plumbing and mechanical systems. Four self-contained sewage treatment plants were installed this week, one for each home. Students also backfilled soil over the insulated mat foundations.

Sustainable Village Week 6: trusses and T-shirts

During Week 6, we started framing the third (SE) house and laying out trusses for the two northern homes. Two more UAF students   began working at the site for a total of four. The crew is jelling and construction is on schedule! It warmed up to 65 degrees this week, and the T-shirts and bug dope came out. Next week we are planning to finish roofs on the northern homes and begin plumbing and electrical work. Then we’ll add sheathing and trim. Meanwhile, we’ll begin framing the fourth and final house, which will likely have the Reina Wall–a double wall with thick blown-in cellulose insulation developed by local builder Thorsten Chlupp of Reina, LLC.

Sustainable Village Week 5: Welcome students, more framing

This week the first members of the student workforce started at the UAF Sustainable Village site. Student carpenters helped frame in the second home (on the northeast lot)

About eight students will work on the project this summer. They all participated in a safety course this week, learning the basics of on-site safety—such as using personal protection equipment and identifying site hazards. Next week they will be taught how to use a skill saw, nail gun, chop saw, and scaffolding.

Next week we will install trusses on the northwest home. The homes will have a shed-style roof with a continuous ¾ inch air vent under the decking so heat doesn’t conduct to the roof. There will be 20 inches of cellulose insulation in the roof for an R-60.

UAF students attend a safety course before starting work at the UAF Sustainable Village.

Student carpenter Garret working with longtime carpenter Joe on the Village site.