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UAF installing solar panels for Sustainable Village to open this fall

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Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2012 11:41 pm

FAIRBANKS — It’s dorm living, for science. This fall, 16 UAF students will live in the university’s new Sustainable Village, a project developed in partnership with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center.

Students will pay $700 per month to live in one of the four homes that make up the village. Each 1,400 square foot home features four bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, and both dining and living areas.

In addition, students will be expected to commit to a “low-impact lifestyle” that includes recycling, conservation and commuting by walking, according to a UAF press release. All of the students are enrolled in UAF professor Dayne Ellanna’s solar photovoltaic design and installation course.

The homes are superinsulated to conserve heat. They also feature an integrated heating and ventilation system, a solar hydronic system and a biomass stove.

The village was paid for in whole by the university, with a reported $1 million price tag. University officials expect the project will pay itself off with student rent. According to a press release, the buildings cost less than $180 per square foot to build. That’s cheaper than what other buildings cost.

“The Sustainable Village really is a model for how to build residential homes in the Interior,” said project manager Jenny Campbell in the press release. “This is the first step in what we hope will become a larger development of sustainable housing for our students.”

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