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Tour Guide

This tour guide is designed to help you explore the facility and learn the story behind its innovative sustainable design.

During your visit, take the self-guided tour in this pamphlet, and when you reach a tour stop, read the accompanying text to learn about the building.

The Hocking College Energy institute is the home of Hocking College's Advanced Energy and Automotive Hybrids programs. The facility will also serve as a training center for sustainable energy technologies and an applied research center for business. The building is seen as a working laboratory.

In addition, the building has been designed to employ the latest methods and technologies in sustainable and environmentally friendly design, and to showcase it in the context of higher education applications.

  • HCEI Lobby

    From the front entrance, a number of features are visible:

    • The floor of the Energy Institute is the exposed concrete structural slab, which has been sealed with an environmentally-friendly concrete sealer and densifier.
    • The ceiling is exposed metal acoustical decking, supported by steel bar joist framing, wide flange steel beams, and wide flange steel columns. Structural steel in the United States is over 80% recycled content, most of which comes from scrapped automobiles. Because no hung ceiling was used, less material was required for the building's construction, and the exposed systems contribute to the building's unique appearance.
    • The lobby area was designed with vehicles in mind. The large double doors at the main entrance are large enough to drive a car into the lobby. The roll-up garage door into the Incubator and the sliding barn door into the multipurpose room are both large enough to allow a car to be driven into those rooms.
  • HCEI Multipurpose Room

    The high north-facing clerestory window allows daylight into the multipurpose room, reducing reliance on artificial illumination during the day. The lightshelf below the window helps bring daylight deeper into the room, while providing a dark area for digital slide shows.

  • HCEI Electrical Room & Heat Pump

    Glass windows show the panelboards and electrical equipment that comprise the Institute's electrical system. Directly over your head is one of the Institute's fourteen geothermal ground source heat pumps, which heat and cool the building using the earth as a source of heating and cooling. If you look carefully, you can see yellow glycol running throw plastic tubing. The glycol transfers heat and cold from the heat pumps to the earth and back. Geothermal heat source pumps are 30% more efficient than conventional heating and cooling equipment. The heat pumps are tied into individual wells, which surround the building; each well is over 300 feet deep.

  • HCEI Electrical Room & Heat Pump

    Two alternative energy systems are visible here:

    • Two separate inverters convert the DC electricity produced by the photovoltaic array to AC electricity, which is then used by the building. The smaller Sunny Boy inverter is assigned to the 26 panels on the lower roof, while the larger Solectria inverter is assigned to the 70 panels on the roof of the multipurpose room.
    • The fuel cell converts natural gas to electricity, which supplies the building's electrical system.

  • HCEI Corridor

    From this point in the corridor, a few building features are apparent:

    • Above you can see the clerestory windows, which bring natural lighting deep into the middle of the building. The windows can be opened with motorized openers, so that in the spring and fall when the weather is good, the building can be naturally ventilated.
    • Both restrooms use low-flow plumbing fixtures. In addition, the men's restroom has waterless urinals.
    • If the janitor's closet is unlocked, you can see the solar thermal water storage tank. This tank is connected to the flat-plate solar thermal collector on the roof of the building, which uses sunlight to heat the building's water supply.

  • HCEI Classroom

    The classrooms were designed to be equally usable for lectures and labs, with large open spaces and durable finishes. The classrooms have a number of sustainable features:

    • The large windows at both ends of the classroom allow in natural light; the light shelf mounted under the clerestory window helps bring the light deeper into the classroom. On sunny days the classroom is bright enough not to require artificial lighting.
    • Both windows have operable panes, allowing the classroom occupants to turn off the heat pump during good weather and naturally ventilate the classroom, saving energy.
    • All wood and composite wood in the classroom, including the window sills, light shelf, and door, are FSC-certified (Forestry Sustainable Council) and have no urea-based formeldahyde.

  • HCEI Lounge

    As in other portions of the building, operable windows in the lounge allow for natural ventilation during mild times of the year. From the lounge windows, you can also see the roof overhang along the south edge of the building. The overhang has been calculated to keep sunlight out of the building during the hot summer months, while allowing full sunlight into the building in the winter. This is a basic precept of passive solar design, which uses an understanding of path of the sun throughout the year to use the sun as a source of heating in the winter, and avoids the sun as a source of heating in the summer.

  • HCEI Vehicle Bay

    The vehicle bay will serve as the home for the Energy Institute's Automotive Hybrid program. Here students will learn how to maintain advanced energy automobiles including hybrids, plug-in electrics, natural gas & propane, and fuel cells. The garage doors have high insulating value, containing 3” of foam insulation.

  • HCEI Lower Roof

    The roof of the Energy Institute is a highalbedo single ply membrane. The white membrane, unlike a traditional black tar roof, reflects sunlight, helping reduce cooling costs in the summer. On the roof you can see 26 photovoltaic panels in ballast mounts. An additional 70 photovoltaic panels are mounted on the multipurpose room roof. In addition, you can see the flat plate collector for the solar thermal heating system, which uses sunlight to heat the building's hot water.

  • HCEI Meadows Plantings and Vegetated Roof

    The grounds surrounding the Energy Institute are planted with native Ohio prairie grasses and wildflowers, providing both habitat and food for native insects and birds. Because the grounds use a native low-grow mix, they are only mowed once a year, reducing maintenance costs and energy consumption. From this point you can also see the vegetated roof of the Energy Institute; the roof over the classrooms is planted with sedum and native phlox. The roof helps insulate the building and reduces stormwater flow by detaining it in the roof's soil and plant root systems, returning it to the air through transpiration.

  • HCEI Parking Lot

    From this point in the parking lot, you can see:

    • The parking lot is cast-in-place concrete; the light color of the concrete reflects sunlight, reducing heat island effect. The concrete contains fly ash, a recycled product obtained from power plant waste.
    • The two electrical devices in the parking spaces closest to the front entrance are recharge stations for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
    • The planted swale (also called a bioswale) drains all water from the parking lot and building roofs. The water is directed into the bioswale, and eventually into the extended detention ponds at the south end of the site. The bioswale is planted with native iris and grasses.

  • HCEI Extended Detention Pond and Plantings

    Like the bioswale, the area around the detention pond is planted with native grasses and iris. The trees in the parking area are native Ohio species such as river birch, swamp white oak, sugar maple, and flowering dogwood. The detention pond holds stormwater drained from the building and parking lot; this provides habitat for native species (from the tracks on the banks you can see that birds and deer drink here) and keeps the runoff from draining into the Hocking River.

Hocking College Energy Institute
30140 Iles Road
Logan, OH 43138
Phone: 740.380.9315
Fax: 740.380.1241
E-mail