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Biomass Heating Plant, Hotchkiss School

reThink Wood


Hotchkiss School


  • Other: Centerbrook Architects and Planners
  • Structural Engineer: DeStefano and Chamberlain, Inc

Project Status


Year Completed




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Project Description

Located in the forests of Connecticut, the Hotchkiss School saw its location as an opportunity to utilize a responsible and economical resource while demonstrating real world lessons to its charges.

Faced with the replacement of an aging fuel oil heating plant, the school chose to build a LEED-certified biomass facility that burns wood chips from sustainably managed forests nearby. Valued for its renewability and local abundance, wood was also used in the building’s construction. Wall systems include glued laminated timber, laminated veneer lumber, parallel strand lumber and Douglas-fir interior framing. The roof features glulam girders and beams with a metal deck. Aesthetically, the design creates an iconic presence while merging into its natural setting. The facility is covered with a rolling vegetated roof that changes color with the season.
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