Building and living green“So why did they use two-by-six-inch studs instead of two-by-fours?” asks a student after reading a worksheet about building materials. Another student is figuring out how a ground source heat pump works, and a third has abandoned the worksheet and asks, “Where can I buy low VOC [volatile organic compounds] paint?”
These Goshen College students and others in Professor of Biology Stan Grove’s Principles of Biology class were the first to study in Rieth Village, a cluster of three environmentally friendly buildings now in use at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center. The students were touring the facilities in anticipation of the dedication of the buildings, which took place April 8.
Rieth Village was created to house Goshen College’s expanding environmental science program and to enable students to live near the ecosystems they study at Merry Lea, the college’s 1,150-acre nature preserve. The first resident students climbed into their bunk beds in May, living on site for three-week courses in ornithology or ecology. Here are some of their reflections from living and studying in their “green” environment.