May 12, 2015

American University Strong on Solar

Location: Mary Graydon Center, American University, Washington, DC 20016, USA
Map of Solar at American University
This google map screenshot of five big installations on
AU's Campus needs to be updated (Cassell Hall is no 
longer under construction)
This weekend, I went up to American University. For sometime, I've known that AU is a hot spot for solar but I hadn't found a good angle to take a photo. I've attached a map (left) to show you how many different sites around AU have solar.
This visit, I came across a good viewpoint on the 7-story parking garage next to the Mary Graydon Center. Here are a few takeaways.

First, Nextility did the install in September 2011 (http://www.nextility.com/solar/solar-projects/). The solar water heating system installed at Mary Graydon is integrated with a green roof. The design allows for the plants and green roof material to weigh the solar ballasts down and the solar tubes provide just the right amount of shade for the plants.

Second, AU is a signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The last time I mentioned the ACUPCC was for my post on Mt. Saint Mary's solar farm. I'm happy to see there's been an increase since that post in mid-February (they've added 12 signatories)!

Solar at American University
Mary Graydon Center solar and green roof (top and bottom
left) and my vantage point/parking lot (bottom right).
Third, wandering around the parking lot of a college campus feels a bit weird but I did it in the name of science. I'm hoping next time to receive an invitation.

Finally, here are the buildings circled in red on the map:
  • Top: Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
  • Under construction: Cassell Hall
  • Center: Mary Graydon Center
  • Bottom left: Bender Library
  • Bottom right: School of International Service