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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Vermont Technical College

Sustainability Education Hub – Right here In Randolph

Stuart and Margaret Osha’s solar heating panels

Vermont Technical College (VTC) created its Center for Sustainable Practices (CSP) in 2007 to provide opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the community to explore sustainability. The programs emphasize experiential  learning, applied research and training opportunities.

The Center’s mission is to develop unique programs and projects focused on

  • practical applications of sustainability that explore or demonstrate new concepts or technologies;
  • efforts that bring physical and intellectual resources to campus
  • activities that bring together internal and external constituencies to explore the question of “What constitutes a sustainable practice?”

While sustainability crosses disciplines and arches over all efforts on campus, VTC also offers a Sustainable Design and Technology degree, in which students have an opportunity to develop an expertise in this increasingly important field

With funding provided by IBM and support from Efficiency VT, the CSP is currently coordinating a 12 month project to achieve a 5% energy reduction for the college. In reducing consumption by 250,000kWh, they hope to create cost savings of $25,000/year. This project dovetails with recent renovations completed at the Allen House, the 1826 building standing at the entrance to the Randolph campus, home for the CSP.  They made extensive energy efficiency improvements and installed a solar tracker.

The College’s commitment to renewable energy is evidenced by this integration of various RE technologies into their operating infrastructure. The Red School House building is heated by a wood pellet boiler and the farm uses a solar hot water system.  VTC is also exploring the installation of a geothermal system.  By far, the largest renewable energy project is the construction, this summer, of a commercial biodigester that will combine manure with waste food products to create energy.

The intersection of these projects with academics is three-fold. The school shows that it practices sustainability itself.  Students are able to observe working models of new technology. And faculty can develop research projects using specific technologies that afford students hands-on research experience.  Results can then inform policy makers, business practice, and consumer choices.

CSP also offers certificate training programs in “green” practices to the general public.  Recent offerings include residential weatherization and solar classes. Coming soon is an introduction to geothermal technologies for residential installation.

For more information on the CSP visi:   www.csp.vtc.edu
For trainings, click on LEARN in the navigation bar and follow links to training schedules.
Donna Barlow Casey, Director of Center for Sustainable Practices can be reached at 728-1719  and  dcasey2@vtc.vsc.edu

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