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image Project: The Living Classroom

The Living Classroom


The Living Classroom at Heron’s Head Park, to be built in 2007 and completed in 2008, will be the first off-grid environmental education center in the City of San Francisco and in any urban center in California. The community center will be located on a reclaimed wetlands park in the Southeast community of Hunterspoint Bayview–a commmunity which has struggled with nemourous environmental problesm over the last fifty years which includes two superfund sights, an industrial quarter with hundreds of brownfield locations, as well as two antiquated power plants, and is home to San Francisco’s largest wastewater treatment plant treating over 80% of San Francisco’s raw effluent.

The Living Classroom will be able to provide hands on curriculum development to community youth in the field of ecology, environmental stewardship, and environmental sustainability. The Living Classroom will educate community youth and the general public about the latest in renewable energy, wastewater treatment and reclamation, and green building material use. It will include an “off grid” solar energy system, a passive solar design, a “Living Machine” ecological wastewater treatment system, a living roof with rain water catchment system, as well as a community amphitheatre built with haybale seating. The buildng will be constructed with Structural Insulated Panel (SIP)s which add increased thermal insulation.

The center will feature a vareity of curriculum centered around ecology, environmental stewardship, and conservation focusing on energy, wastewater treatment, water conservation, native landscape design, and stormwater mitigation, as well as on urban planning, park stewardship, and an array of emerging issues in the field of ecology and environmental science. The overall goal of the project is to educate community members, particularly youth, about providing solutions to critical urban problems around poor uban design in an effort to be more responsible and think more sustainably about the building/development of our communities. Ultiamtely, the project will teach people that we can reduce pollutants and conserve the life sustaining resources of our planet without sacrificing a building’s comfort or aesthetic appeal.

Recognized Value Award 2007

San francisco


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