SUSTAINABILITY EXPERIENCE CENTER

  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center
  • Sustainability Experience Center

Overview

The nine-acre Sustainability Experience Center is located on Porter Road near Beaver Stadium. This site is currently being developed by Penn State's Sustainability Institute as an education destination featuring numerous engaging facilities design to support sustainability education. It will be a destination for students, teachers, business leaders and citizens to experience and experiment with new (and old) ways to apply sustainable practices to food, water, building materials and energy systems. The nine acres will serve as a state-of-the-art space for experimenting with new energy systems that reduce environmental impact.

As Penn State’s “go-to” space for sustainability education, the Center currently incorporates a host of pioneering technologies such as: renewable energy net-zero home and lab; solar car and motorcycle port; rainwater harvesting; community gardens; and a green house. See current features below. Visit the Learning Grounds to view planned features.

MorningStar Solar Home
Designed and built by Penn State students, the MorningStar represents an important step in Penn State’s advancing leadership in energy solutions for the future. The MorningStar solar home serves as a teaching and  research facility dedicated to clean energy systems.

Greenhouse
The Senior Class Gift of 2000, the Greenhouse houses Penn State’s “Living Machine,” an experimental waste water treatment facility. On-going research includes an effluent polishing system for eliminating pharmaceuticals from our wastewater, a critical issue that is absent in most central treatment facilities. The greenhouse also features a free standing tracking solar array.

A Living Machine is a series of tanks teeming with live plants, trees, grasses and algae, koi and goldfish, tiny freshwater shrimp, snails, and a diversity of microorganisms and bacteria. Each tank is a different mini-ecosystem designed to eat or break down waste. The process takes about four days to turn mucky water crystal clear. It is chemical-free, odor-free (with the exception perhaps of the sweet fragrance of flowers), and, compared to conventional waste treatment, it costs less financially and ecologically.

Community Gardens
The community garden site provides students and community members the chance to attend workshops and put in practice local and organic food production methods. Currently, more than 100 gardeners practice sustainable and organic gardening techniques on this site.

"Wind for Schools" Turbine
The wind turbine serves Penn State’s Wind for Schools program and also provide a student research lab to assess noise, durability, and advanced materials of wind turbines.

Sustainability Leadership Center
Planned as an Eco-retreat/ Meeting space and Sustainability Consulting Center, the Leadership Center provides a home base for practical and hands-on learning programs in sustainability at Penn State.

Chevrolet Solar Carport
A cost-effective way to utilize solar electricity is by converting sunlight into fuel for transportation. The Chevrolet Solar Carport proximity permits researchers to collect and track data that will help to prove the efficiency of solar-generated electricity for cars and motorcycles, and daily commuters.

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GREEN FEATURES

The following green features are included at this site:

Eco-design Green building Community garden Wind energy Alternative Fuel Vehicle Solar Energy Native landscaping

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