Completed Campaign Project:
Green Gulch Farm Passive House
Identifying the necessity for more and better student housing nearly a decade ago, Zen Center has completed a building to meet the needs of Zen students who have chosen to devote their time and energy to residential practice at Green Gulch Farm.
The focus of this project is to meet the housing needs of eight mid-level staff, allowing them to make room for new students.
The architectural firm of JSW/D was engaged to design the structure, led by Helen Degenhardt, and Ken Sawyer, a former Green Gulch resident and principle of Sawyer and Son Construction was the project contractor.
From the beginning of the long-term vision and restoration plan for Green Gulch, the Green Gulch Farm community has been fully engaged in discussions regarding the design process of the student housing, and their requests and needs were folded into the architectural drawings.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in October 2010 and an opening ceremony was held in September 2011.
A First in California
This building is the first multi-person dwelling to be certified as a passive house in the state of California. Passive housing design results in an energy consumption decrease of 90% over normal to-code buildings.
The completed project will be assessed by an organization called Build-it-Green, which will give Zen Center a green score based on items such as gray water runoff and the use of recycled materials. This score will serve to set a standard for all future Zen Center building projects, allowing us to measure the success of our intentions and commitment to sustainable practices.
Although this project is complete, we are continuing to raise funds to undergo significant remodeling to Cloud Hall, the residence for newer residents and practice period students. Learn about the Cloud Hall project.