High School Students Take on Green Architecture at SBMWA

Hayden Rehn uses Google SketchUp

Local high school students joined architects, Michael Farewell and Jason Kliwinski, for a week-long class on green architecture at the Watershed Center. Using the Center as their laboratory, the highly acclaimed sustainability features of the facility stimulated lively discussions. 

Senior Calvin Hodge, who has attended numerous Watershed Nature Camps over the years, reflected that it is not just the “green” materials or the mechanics, (solar, wind etc.) that are important, but the location of the materials that must be considered. Hayden Rehn chimed in, “You really have to pay attention to where your materials come from.” And Sophomore Mackenzie Elkadi shared that she did not realize how everything was interrelated, “You have to think about the larger impact.”

Sophomore David Rawley meets with Architects Jason Kliwinski and Michael Farewell
Sophomore David Rawley meets with Architects Jason Kliwinski and Michael Farewell

Students considered consequences of building, needs for future generations, carbon neutrality, and daylight while they designed their own green building. They used traditional pencil to paper, three dimensional construction paper models, and the Google SketchUp 3D modeling software. The group was divided into two sections — those who created a structure for a farm/forested area and those designing a dwelling near, or for some on, a pond.

Farewell, architect who designed the Watershed Center, enthusiastically returned to the Center and see the building used by so many constituents, Green Architecture Academy students, Nature Camp campers, a Pipeline Opposition Group meeting, lunch-and-learn for 5 to 10 year olds learning about monarchs and their habitats, and parents and preschoolers learning about Lenape for Little Ones.

Kliwinski, who lists among his many credentials, Certified Sustainable Building Advisor and LEED Fellow Adjunct faculty for NJIT and Rowan, challenged the students to really think about the long term costs of building and the overall environmental impact.

The class is one of several offered by the Watershed Academy this summer.  For information about the multitude of programs visit thewatershed.org or call 609-737-3735.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is a not-for-profit organization that protects the 265-square-mile region drained by the Stony Brook and Millstone River, spanning 25 towns and five counties. Founded in 1949, the Watershed Association is central New Jersey’s first environmental group. We protect clean water and the environment through conservation, advocacy, science and education. 

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