Recently the EcoFellows toured two very different, yet highly efficient, building projects in Western Massachusetts. The tour was put on by our friends at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) as part of their Pro Tour Series. Both projects were the work of local contractors Kent Hicks Construction, one of them being his own home and office.
Kent lives in a former grist mill that was built in 1850. In order to convert it into a home residence and office space he completed a deep energy retrofit. A deep energy retrofit is a way of renovating a space to address all energy loads and increase efficiency.
However, what made this project exceptional was Kent’s dedication to maintaining the integrity and aesthetic of the old mill building. Throughout the project, deconstruction and repurposing of original materials was a priority. This allowed for unique design features, like wainscoting made from their original metal roofing, and a dining room table made from the mill’s machinery. The flooring downstairs is also original and shows the indentations of former mill employees’ work stations. This project is a testament to how style and energy efficiency can work together to create a beautiful and sustainable home, without compromising historical authenticity.Read More»
By Morgan O’Connor, Market & High Performance Building EcoFellow
Last month the Center for EcoTechnology sponsored Willow, Jorge, and I as EcoFellows to attend the International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) in New York City. The conference was an eye-opening experience as we were exposed to new applications for sustainable development practices from around the world.
The ICSD was started in 2013 in Dakar, Senegal, in hopes of creating solutions to the complicated problems standing in the way of developing sustainable communities. Realizing that there was need for a larger conversation, the conference grew to international levels, partnering with the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Now the conference runs annually, hosted by the Earth Institute of Columbia University.Read More»
By: Shelby Kuenzli, Marketing EcoFellow
We are busy getting settled in at the Center for EcoTechnology and we can’t wait to work with the community and surrounding areas! These next few months are going to be a whirlwind of opportunity and learning and we want you to get to know us a little better.
The Center for EcoTechnology does incredible things every day to help people and businesses save energy and reduce waste. We help businesses and institutions implement programs to divert wasted food, we work with contractors to build homes to exceptional efficiency standards. We work with farmers to help them get funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The list goes on. But a very special part of what we do is the EcoFellowship program.
Without a doubt, mentoring these five future environmental leaders is the best part of my job. When you work in the environmental field, every day is full of challenges, but also possibility. The EcoFellows come to us right out of college full of optimism and tenacity to turn that possibility into reality.
Here are some of the things they did in the past 11 months:
- Alexandra “Lexie” Vining expanded our work in community outreach by working with our partner Mass Energy to begin a local canvassing program for New England Green Start.
- Katie Costantini helped align our work with THE GREEN TEAM to public school curriculums.
- Matt Brodeur executed user-testing for the RecyclingWorks MA website leading to a more powerful tool for businesses and institutions.
- Aliza created the first video case study for our High-Performance Building work.
- Chiara Favaloro assisted with a press conference for the Mass Farm Energy Program which brought together stakeholders from across the state.
By Lexie Vining, Community Outreach and Education Fellow
Have you been wondering what events to attend to celebrate Earth Month? Well, wonder no more! CET’s Outreach Team will be attending these great events below! Don’t forget to stop by to be a human generator as we make electricity, or come say hello to our composting worms. Also, feel free to grab information on how to go green with a no-cost home energy assessment or start investing in local, renewable energy. Every sustainable action counts!