The small exhibit case features examples of how students and faculty are using the campus as a living lab to study sustainability issues. On display: Butler Green Roof research, Solar Picnic Table, Examples of High Meadows funded Campus as Lab projects and Rammed Earth Structures.
Soil, one of the earliest known building materials, has experienced a resurgence in popularity as a sustainable alternative to concrete. Professor Sigrid Adriaenssens of the CEE Department is exploring how rammed earth made from local soil can function as a sustainable building material in New Jersey’s humid climate.
Using a rammed earth wall constructed at the Forbes Garden, the team will evaluate the ideal wall curvature, design and test erosion protection systems, and monitor the durability of the structures over the next year.
Students in ARC 311 were tasked with designing a functional solar picnic table.
Professor Forrest Meggers designed a solar system for the roof, and taught the student designers how to calculate sun angles and determine the placement of the panel.
As a part of the design research for the project, Meggers developed a concept to have a lightweight 100W panel track the sun while simultaneously shading the area for laptop work. In addition, a system for battery storage, charge controlling, and data streaming and web interactivity was included.
The solar picnic table is currently being displayed at the Andlinger Center.
The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), has conducted research on the Butler College green roof system since its installation in 2009, assessing various energy- and stormwater-related performance factors. Compared to a conventional roof, the research has shown the following:
• In most cases, in light to moderate rain events, the green roof delays and lowers the rate and volume of stormwater runoff; stormwater mitigation is directly related to soil moisture content before the rain event.
• The green roof demonstrates significantly smaller variability and peak values in surface temperature.