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This Green Boarding School Saves $350K on Energy Bills

In It's Not Easy Being Green, Curbed pulls back the curtain on cutting-edge, environmentally friendly design, from urban passive houses to green tweaks on suburban living. Have a suggestion for an upcoming column? Pass it along.

Here's a look at Hotchkiss School, in Lakeville, Conn., which received a rather impressive green makeover by Connecticut-based firm Centerbrook Architects. With a woodchip biomass burner, a bit of green design handiwork, and hundreds of square feet of rolling rooftop garden, the elite boarding school has reduced its winter energy bill by $350,000 and lowered its carbon footprint about 40 percent. Its heat comes from an incinerator that uses local wood chip from Forest Stewardship Council-approved forests, which, according to Architizer, makes the process effectively carbon neutral "because carbon lost to the atmosphere is reabsorbed by replacement trees." More below.

The rolling rooftop filters rain water and provides superb insulation, which would be rather important in the boonies of New England.

The project, made largely from local and repurposed materials, also boasts energy-saving lighting and ventilation, not to mention water-saving faucets.

Plus, like any grass-topped structure, it looks pretty awesome.

· Elegant Green Roof Biomass Building Slashes School Energy Bill [Architizer]
· The Lovely Grass-Topped Homes of the Rich and Eco-Stylish [Curbed National]
· All It's Not Easy Being Green posts [Curbed National]