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5-16-18: Bowdoin to Build Four Passive House Dorms

BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin College will start construction this summer on four Passive House dorms, the next step in the college's commitment to carbon neutrality.

The four buildings, which will house 22 students each, are on 3.56 acres on Park Row, next to Chamberlain Hall. The project overall includes 47,877 square feet of construction and will cost $15.25 million.

Construction is expected to start this year and the dorms would open in August 2019.

"The site is mostly vacant, but a two-story clapboard building, Gustafson House, will be torn down to make room for the project", said Keisha Payson, assistant director of sustainability for the college.

On a bright spring day as the busy campus prepared for next week's commencement, the only sign of the innovative project was stakes in the grass, fluttering different-colored ribbons indicating which of the four dorms they signify. A rendering shows four staggered pitched-roof buildings angled vertically away from Park Row.

Payson said building Passive House dorms "makes a lot of sense" and is a "win-win-win."