This installation of 6 pole mounted solar photovoltaic arrays is a part of the Class of 1966 Environmental Center’s efforts to complete the net zero energy performance “petal” of the Living Building Challenge Certification.

The Living Building Challenge is a sustainable building standard administered by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).  In order to achieve full building certification, a project must complete all seven “petals” and 20 imperatives.  The petals include: site, energy, water, materials, equity, health, and beauty.

In 2017, the ’66 Environmental Center achieved Petal Certification by meeting six of the seven performance criteria. The goal of this installation is to meet the energy petal, which will enable this project to achieve Full Living Certification, a standard that only 23 buildings have ever reached.  Most of the petals can be achieved pre-occupancy, but the net zero energy and net zero water petals must perform at net zero through the performance period year.  Thus far, net zero energy over the course of a whole year has been elusive.  We have worked to reduce energy use both in terms of the building’s systems and on the user side of things, but it was determined that initial projections were off and that we needed more solar panels.

Other campus building projects designed to meet an ILFI standard are Fort Bradshaw (LEED Silver & LBC Petal Certification (Materials, Equity, Health & Happiness, & Beauty), the CDE Residence Hall (Zero Energy Certification), and the upcoming Davis Center project (LBC Petal Certification – Materials, Equity, Health & Happiness, & Beauty).

For more information about high performance buildings on campus, visit the buildings page on the sustainability website.  For more information on specific building projects, visit the Williams Planning, Design, & Construction website.