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Building/Project Details

Building/Project NameAdam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, Oberlin College Construction / refurbishment date01/01/2001 Building/Project Size13,600 sq. ft.
Building/Project Typeacademic Address 122 Elm St. Oberlin Ohio 44074 United States Region americas

Performance Details

Net Zero Operational Carbon

Buildings or developments that are verified and certified as “net zero operational energy and/or carbon.” The building should demonstrate the highest levels of energy efficiency with the use of either renewables generated onsite or renewable energy procured offsite.

Achieved Certification Scheme: Other
Other Achieved Certification Scheme and Level: New Buildings Institute — Zero Energy Vertified Energy Use Intensity (EUI) (kWh/m2/yr): 55,300 kWh/m2/yr Onsite Renewable Production Intensity (RPI) (kWh/m2/yr): 75,750 kWh/m2/yr Verification Year: 2016

Tell us your story

Described by the New York Times as “the most remarkable of a new generation of college buildings,” the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College operates on three fundamental principles of nature: eliminate the concept of waste, rely on natural energy flows and respect diversity. The Center was the first commercial building to be Verified Zero Energy by the New Buildings Institute. The building features a 45 kw roof-mounted photovoltaic array installed during the original construction, as well as a 100 kw array installed over the parking lot in 2006. This addition led to the site becoming a net energy exporter, producing 30 percent more energy than it needs to operate and sharing this excess energy with the community. An integration of natural energy flows and the building’s energy needs, its use as a teaching and public space, and the desire to blur the distinction between indoors and out inspires the Center’s disposition.

Submitter's Details

OrganisationWilliam McDonough + Partners Member of GBCUSGBC

“The Center was the first commercial building to be Verified Zero Energy by the New Buildings Institute.”