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Stanford Dedicates Green Engineering School Home with Major Solar Installation

Engineering students at Stanford have a new home. The university recently dedicated the Huang Engineering Center, which will house 270 faculty, staff, and students from the Management Science and Engineering, the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.

The new 130,000 square foot structure, named for alumnus and Nvidia co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang, was built using green standards. Those features include a reduction in potable water use of up to 90 percent and a reduction in energy use of about 50 percent compared with buildings of a similar size and use. And while principles of LEED, established by the Green Building Council, were incorporated into the building, rather than pursuing LEED certification, Stanford applied the costs of that process into sustainable features of the structure.

The new structure houses a sizable conference center, cafe, and nearly "bookless" library.

Another major component of the building is a solar installation done by DRI Energy, which also installed a comparable system on Stanford's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, which is still under construction. The buildings, which will be part of a planned science and engineering quad, have rooftop 30.1 kW DC solar systems. The installations are projected to provide more than 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity over their lives.

"If you build places where people want to be and build places where people will want to work together in very different ways than they have in the past, you can create partnerships that can do wonderful things to tackle the big problems this world faces," said Jim Plummer, dean of the School of Engineering, during the center's dedication.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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