Residence halls are becoming more sustainable by:
- Installing high-efficiency washers
- Installing water-saving fixtures
- Replacing old windows with more efficient windows in Brown Hall and Fjelstad Hall.
- Installing electricity metering at the building level in 7 residence halls. Check the energy dashboard to view your building's electricity use in real time!
Long Lake Classroom and Lab
Concordia owns an eco-friendly classroom/lab on its Long Lake property near Detroit Lakes, Minn. The property and building is open to all Concordia students and courses for recreation and research.
The classroom building, which opened its doors in October 2009, accommodates 25 students. Designed to be environmentally friendly, it faces the lake for cool breezes, rests in the forest for shade and has high ceilings and large windows for natural light. In addition to hosting retreats, art and writing workshops, and classroom discussions, the building enables science students to bring in samples from the land and water for examination. A pontoon boat and dock make water research even easier.
The college also reshaped and protected the shoreline with natural plants. The newly landscaped area serves as an example of what can be done naturally to prevent erosion, while maintaining a beautiful shoreline. Long-term projects include developing interpretive trails, managing the invasive plant populations and a prairie restoration project.
Concordia Language Villages’ Waldsee BioHaus is the first certified Passive House in North America. The BioHaus, located at the German Language Village near Bemidji, Minn., serves as a residence and an environmental living center for language and cultural immersion programs for young people from all 50 states. Aside from educating those who attend the German Language Village, Concordia professors take students to the BioHaus for sustainability fieldtrips and fieldwork.
The BioHaus adheres to the world’s most stringent energy consumption standard for buildings, Germany’s Passivhaus Standard, and is the most air-tight building in the United States. The BioHaus consumes 85 percent less energy than a house of the same size constructed by Minnesota code.
The roof of the Biohaus has 12 solar panels, which power most of the building, and a green roof. The walls of the Passivhaus are made with special insulation and triple paned windows with a very high R-value (a measure of thermal efficiency). These features help keep the Passivehaus at a comfortable temperature year round. Large windows make up the majority of the southern-facing wall in the Biohaus, increasing the amount of natural light in the building.
Air that enters the building is filtered through 100-percent Fresh Air Ventilation System, which uses geothermal technologies. This system warms the air by moving it through the ground, where it is heated by the Earth’s core before entering the building. The use of water (heated by renewable energy sources) is also minimized through the use of low-flow faucets and showerheads along with dual-flush toilets.
When Concordia set out develop a new business school, it made a sustainability a key priority. As a result, the building housing the Offutt School of Business earned a LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.