A Benedictine Abbey’s Solar House

A Benedictine Abbey’s Solar House

Sarah Rainwater
Sep 10, 2009

You might not expect a Catholic high school founded by Benedictine Monks to be at the forefront of green technology, but in 2006 Portsmouth Abbey School built a 164-foot-tall wind turbine on its campus and in October of 2008 it became the site of this house designed by RISD architecture students to run entirely on solar energy...

The project was designed for the 2005 U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon in Washington DC and donated by RISD to Portsmouth Abbey in 2008 where it is now used as faculty housing. It features several types of solar panels, an energy recovery ventilation system, and energy efficient appliances.

In addition to the wind turbine, which provides nearly 40% of the boarding school's electricity, Portsmouth Abbey recently built a girls dormitory with many green construction features and planted a kitchen garden to provide fresh vegetables to the dining hall. Is it us, or is heading back to school starting to seem pretty inspiring?

(Images: Portsmouth Abbey School)

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