The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies is owned and occupied by Oberlin College and was completed in January 2000. Since then it attracts visitors from around the world and inspires architects and engineers.
The Lewis Center generates its own on-site electricity, so it is a net zero energy building.
Photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the Center (60 kW photovoltaic system) and a 100 kW PV system located over the parking lot use renewable energy from the sun. This is combined with energy efficient technologies and appliances to minimize energy use.
Zero energy building ZEB technology:
- Geothermal wells – heat pumps
- Constant air exchange and heat recovery
- Triple-panes for reduced heat loss
- Argon gas interior, which increases insulation value
- Low-emissivity coatings that reflect unwanted heat
- Anaerobic Reactor – 1500 gal anaerobic tank
- Closed Aerobic Reactors – wastewater is aerated to provide oxygen
- Open Aerobic Reactors
- Photovoltaic (PV) panels