Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies--Oberlin College

General Information

Quick Facts

Project Information

The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies is located on the Oberlin College campus in Oberlin, Ohio. It houses classroom and office space, an auditorium, a small environmental studies library and resource center, a wastewater-purification system in a greenhouse, and an open atrium.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) collaborated with the Oberlin staff to continuously improve the as-built building.

Environmental Aspects

Upon initiation of the project, Professor David Orr asked three questions that continue to serve as a guiding philosophy for the Lewis Center:

  • Is it possible—even in Ohio—to power buildings by current sunlight?
  • Is it possible to create buildings that purify their own wastewater?
  • Is it possible to build without compromising human or environmental health somewhere else or at some later time?

The hope remains that the building not only serve as a space in which to hold classes, but also, according to Orr, "help to redefine the relationship between humankind and the environment."

Project Team