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Bill Brown
IU Office of Sustainability

Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

IU Office of Sustainability unveiling net-zero-energy headquarters on March 23

March, 21, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- E-House, the new headquarters for the Indiana University Office of Sustainability at 704 E. 10th St. in Bloomington, will have an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, March 23.

The open house will include a brief presentation at 12:30 p.m. on the process of transforming the historic home into a net-zero-energy building and the vision for the role E-House will play for campus and community.


A 4-kilowatt photovoltaic system, discreetly located on the back slope of the roof, powers the E-House at 704 E. 10th St.

Print-Quality Photo

"The E in E-House refers to the E-words we use every day in the Office of Sustainability: energy, environment, economics and education, but it could also stand for example," said IUOS Director Bill Brown. "When IUOS was first offered a residence in the University Courts historic district as our first permanent office, we immediately began to think about how it could be used as more than just an office. How could it provide an example of a new approach to energy and the built environment? How could it embody some of the principles we talk about under the umbrella of sustainability?"

E-House was designed to be powered by sunlight, yet also preserve its historic character. A 4-kilowatt photovoltaic system, discreetly located on the back slope of the roof, is designed to produce as much electricity as will be used in the building or more.

The building also has a geothermal heating and cooling system that transfers heat to and from the limestone bedrock, utilizing two 250-foot-deep vertical bore holes hidden below the back of the house. Other features such as new storm windows, insulation and LED lamps help the building be more energy-efficient while respecting the historic qualities of this 1930 Dutch Colonial Revival home.

"As stated in the Campus Master Plan, IU Bloomington is committed to excellence in campus sustainability," said Tom Morrison, vice president for capital planning and facilities. "This commitment is demonstrated in our retrofitting of existing buildings, sustainably designed new buildings, and other waste and water minimization programs that have helped IU reduce its environmental impact while enhancing the educational mission of the university. E-House is an example of a building that not only saves resources but is itself an educational resource and a catalyst for change."

Private gifts funded all of the extra expenses required to upgrade the building to net-zero-energy. Most of this private funding was provided by individual donors.

Duke Energy Foundation funded the geothermal system and a Web-enabled energy dashboard that is already being used for research, instruction and outreach for campus and community. Excess generated electricity is sold back to the grid in a net metering agreement with Duke Energy. IUOS intends for E-House to produce more energy than it uses, providing clean energy to other Duke customers.

In addition to being the headquarters for IUOS, E-House was conceived as a place where campus and community groups can meet, learn, plan and implement sustainability initiatives. E-House has already been host to dozens of campus and community group meetings, workshops, seminars, classes and class tours.

IUOS was founded three years ago to catalyze sustainability initiatives in academic programs and operations. Groups associated with the office include the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board and its seven working groups, a Student Sustainability Internship program with 150 alumni, the Student Sustainability Council representing 22 student organizations, and 33 Green Teams.

Campus and community organizations interested in sustainability are urged to attend the open house or contact IUOS to learn more about this new asset.

To learn more about E-House and its renewable energy features, visit

To learn more about the Office of Sustainability and the Indiana University campus sustainability initiative, visit