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The Sustainable Village: Bringing Ideas to Reality

The UAF Sustainable Village is a community for students who are passionate about the environment and reducing their carbon footprint. Opening for the first time in Fall 2012, the Village is an environmentally-focused community that conducts real time research concerning renewable energy sources. This ground breaking research is  in collaboration with the UAF Office of Sustainability and the  Cold Climate Housing Research Center. Residents of the Village make a conscious effort to conserve energy and water, and are helping to bring sustainable housing to the UAF campus.
► Location of the Village
The UAF Sustainable Village is located on the UAF lower campus, east and adjacent to the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, which is located at 1000 Fairbanks Street. See a map of the location here. The Village is comprised of four (4) houses that utilize different sustainable solutions for northern climates. Click the links for house floor plans: Birch House / Spruce House / Willow House / Tamarack House
► Why should I apply to live in the UAF Sustainable Village?
  • Sense of community
  • Civic action opportunities
  • Growing your own food
  • Resume building
  • Participation in and design of student research projects
  • Engagement in sustainability best practices
  • UAF sustainability culture building
  • Living in new, innovative student-designed housing
  • Interaction with “smart” home
  • Reduction of personal carbon footprint
  • Being a pioneer resident of the Village
  • Serving as national model for sustainable living

► Mission of the UAF Sustainable Village

“A dynamic and evolving community at the University of Alaska Fairbanks – committed to the tenets of sustainability – demonstrating what can be achieved to ensure an enduring future for the people of the circumpolar north.” — Jack Hebert, CEO CCHRC

The UAF Sustainable Village will be a demonstration for environmentally sustainable technologies in a residential setting and provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Students will collect and disseminate information about sustainable building techniques and help others live in a more sustainable ways. To achieve its mission the village will:

  • Provide a safe living environment involving students in a sustainable building and community approach to living.
  • Create a living laboratory for students and faculty to conduct experiments with sustainable design, alternative energy sources, new technologies, and ways of living.
  • Serve as a location to provide outreach to the public by providing tours of the house and monitoring its energy use.
  • Create a “home” and enhance sense of identity for UAF students involved in environmental or sustainability programs.
  • Provide a location for workshops, seminars, and demonstrations on how to live and play sustainably.
► Timeline  
The Sustainable Village started with the idea of bringing sustainable housing to the UAF campus. A student design competition was held in the fall of 2011; during this course, three teams of students learned about sustainable building design, community structure, etc. specific to Alaska.

The teams were tasked with taking this knowledge and developing their vision for sustainable housing on the UAF campus. The winning five-student team worked with the CCHRC design team to bring their ideas into reality in the winter of 2011-2012.

In the spring of 2012, construction on the village started; several students involved with the design process continued their contributions to the project as workers on the construction site.

Four four-bedroom units were completed in August in time for the Fall Semester 2012.

This project has brought together students, the University community, non-profits, and the private sector via many dynamic and trailblazing partnerships. 

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