Location Livermore California Architect Siegel Strain Architects

This environmental education camp, which serves middle-school students as well as critically ill children and other guests, was designed to demonstrate a series of ecological design principles as part of the curriculum. Bathhouses are made of stabilized earth, the cabins are efficient wood structures, and the dining hall is a straw-bale building. Low-tech solutions to heating, cooling, and water treatment were favored over more complex mechanical technologies for energy efficiency, lower cost, and simplicity. The bathhouses are open-air, seasonal structures with natural ventilation and no mechanical system. The cabins and dining hall depend on shading strategies and operable clerestory windows to keep them cool. The cabins have south-facing sunrooms for winter heat gain and solar panels for water heating and backup radiant heat. The biological wastewater-treatment system treats water with minimal energy input, demonstrating that there is no waste in nature.

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