Penny Chisholm <email@example.com>
I think MIT ought to build a dorm that is "environmentally cutting edge"....i.e. one that is designed by an architect who uses progressive ('sustainable') designs, from energy efficiency to 'green' materials etc. The ultimate would be a dorm that was self-sustaining in terms of water and energy (doable, but maybe too much to ask). Students could get involved in the design, and, ultimately, sustainably managing the system (analyzing energy efficiency, materials recycling, water use efficiency etc...). It could be like the environmental equivalent of a language dorm (eg a French speaking dorm). The students would learn by living....and even get course credit for it.
I know there are models for this type of structure. Oberlin College has such a building (an Environmental Science Center, I think). Also, the Woods Hole Research Center in Woods Hole is putting up a new structure designed by the same architect.
If MIT is committed to sustainability --- as we are advertising --- we should integrate this philosophy into the design of the campus.
Well, there you have it. Hope it is useful.