The Center for Regenerative Studies is based on the concept of building a functioning human ecosystem, incorporating human wants and needs into nature's patterns of energy and material flows and processes of change. The mission of CRS is education, demonstration, and research in regenerative systems for human life support in the context of a residential student community working with an interdisciplinary group of faculty and scholars.
Students and faculty live on site, grow food, work with the animal and aquaculture systems, and interact as a small community with shared governance and cleaning/maintenance responsibilities.
The buildings have been located to tuck into the land, and demonstrate heavy and light construction types and their impact on energy efficiency. Configuration, orientation, shade, and light are all capitalized to provide natural environmental support systems, including: air movement through convection; reflected light through clerestories and light shelves; heat sinks adjacent to south-facing glass; and cooling through massive buried concrete walls. Building materials have been selected for sustainability. Solar panels provide domestic hot water and heat for forced air. Reclaimed water supplies aquaculture ponds and rooftop and site irrigation, talapia and water hiacynths are grown for food, and compost fertilizes crops for food. A solar park generates electricity, and power is provided by a co-generation plant located on the adjacent landfill.