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GMC Green Building Information Sheet for Visitors

GMC has certainly done their homework – GET is so impressed to learn about all they are doing. We can all benefit hugely from their example!


Type of Building: 5500sf (includes 1500 sf of old Herrick Building) Post and Beam Visitor Center, built in 2009 by Jeff Schoellkopf, Architect/Designer and JA Morrissey, Builder, with main contributors to the Post and Beam effort: Erik and Laurel Tobiason of Colby and Tobiason of Woodstock, Mike Elder of JA Morrissey of Williston, and Duncan Kier of Liberty Head Post and Beam in Huntington. Construction Cost: 1.8 million.

Fuel Type: High Efficiency Wood Boiler. Froling Turbo 3000 – 177,000 BTU cord wood boiler. Why cord wood and not pellets? Cord wood has a lower embodied energy/cord (less processing) and is available to GMC at little to no cost. Our current supply of firewood comes from GMC’s Meltzer property in Lowell where we recently conducted a sustainable timber harvest as part of our State of Vermont Forest Management Plan (This plan allows the property to be in the Current Use Program and thereby reduces the property tax burden).

Annual Heating Fuel Consumption: 8 cords of firewood over 12 mos of domestic hot water heating and space heating – includes heating 1500sf of poorly insulated building.

Electricity Use: 35,000kWH/year. Our electricity covers lights, computers systems (servers), air conditioning, refrigeration, a work shop, our circulators and fans for the heating and cooling system, etc. We are open 7 days a week from 9-5 from Memorial Day through Columbus Day and M-F from 10-5 for the winter and spring.

Window Brand: Accurate Dorwin. Triple paned Argon gas filled. Our windows have a low U Factor (the lower the U-factor, the better) of .17 to .26 depending on whether they are designed to allow more passive solar energy or not. In the case of our building we utilized windows that shade sun on the south side of the meeting hall but units that allow passive solar on the western exposure of the Marvin B. Gameroff Hiker Information Center.

Insulation Type: Spray Foam Closed Cell. R 35 walls and R 40 Roof. Roof is made up of Structural Insulated Panels.

Building Feature Details:

Composting toilet: Clivus Multrum M-32 Compost Reactor with three dry toilet stools. We reduce our waste water by using a dry composting toilet system. Our minimal amounts of gray water go in to a conventional septic. Our Clivus Multrum system saves thousands of gallons of water a year.

Energy Star Appliances: Sun Frost 16 Cubic Foot Refrigerator/Freezer (most energy efficient refrigerator available today). Bosch Energy Star Dishwasher.
Grid Tied PV. 2kW roof mounted array rated to produce 2000 kWH/year. Three AllSun Trackers each rated at 4kW produce 12,000kWH a year. Given the excellent nature of our site for solar, our trackers could produce as high as 6kW per tracker and thus give us 18,000kWH/yr. Our ultimate goal is to be electrically neutral – producing as much as we use – and we hope to achieve this through three additional trackers planned for a fall 2011 installation.

Heat recovery ventilation: This unit helps keep our tight building’s air clean and filtered while preventing heat loss.
All wood was locally and sustainably harvested in Bristol and Ripton Vermont.
Non-Toxic Products: Both in building and for cleaning purposes.

High Efficiency Lighting: Not only are all lights compact fluorescent, but many of them are on occupancy sensors (turns the lights off when no one is present) or on timers (outside lights) to reduce electrical demand. We have also just begun to replace our compact fluorescent bulbs with high efficiency LED bulbs to further reduce our lighting demand. Every effort was made to provide natural daylighting, reducing electric lighting.

Future Project:

Planned installation of second wood gasification boiler at our seasonal housing facility. This unit will cover the high demand for hot water in the summer and space heating in the winter. We plan to experiment with a clothes dryer that can use the hot water heat as the energy source rather than propane.

For questions on what GMC is doing,
email Pete Antos-Ketcham.  

by Pete Antos-Ketcham, GMC Facilities Manager
GET Aug2011 page  22

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