For 19 years, Artists For Humanity has been creating sustainable futures for young people through paid apprenticeships in the arts and enterprise. When faced with the prospect of creating a new facility, the logical approach was to construct a sustainable building that focuses on the well-being of the urban environment. The same philosophy that guided this decision prompted us to use the EpiCenter as an opportunity to educate the community on incorporating sustainable principles into daily practice.
In 2005, AFH launched Spiritus Solaris, an interactive environmental education program/facility tour that highlights the sustainable design and renewable energy technologies powering the EpiCenter. This program and permanent exhibit includes several educational displays, such as a series of sculptures and architectural detailing that respond kinetically to renewable energy sources. There are sculptures made from reclaimed materials, a “Truth Window” that showcases the materials used in the EpiCenter’s construction, exposed building systems, and a tour of the operable devices and high-technology computerized programs that measure the facility’s energy efficiency and evaluate its environmental impact. It also features a revolving exhibit of our young people’s artistic responses to the building’s design.
Nearly 5,500 engineers, architects, city planners and community members have experienced Spiritus Solaris to date, and learned about the benefits of sustainable planning, building and living.
To schedule a group tour of the EpiCenter, please contact Andrew Motta at 617-268-7620 or email@example.com. Walk away better informed about the ways individual choices affect global change and energy conservation.
It might seem ironic that people can learn about the environment through a building. Most think the environment exists only outdoors. However, building materials like wood, clay, metal, sand, and stone are all from nature. The building industry itself accounts for more than half of the world’s energy and raw materials consumption. Today’s buildings consume energy and water and produce waste. While they are inherently wasteful and inefficient relative to living organisms, buildings in the future may filter air and water, create habitat and collect energy. A building like the AFH EpiCenter teaches about nature and the environment and is a living, learning laboratory.