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Public Statements

Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Environmental Technology Center

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise proudly today to honor the Environmental Technology Center, ETC, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. Located at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, CA, ETC was one of the first `green' buildings on a university campus.

Before the concept of a green building was a familiar part of our national culture, Rocky Rohwedder, Professor and Chair of the Environmental Studies and Planning, ENSP, department, realized that an environmental center could provide a valuable teaching tool. He and Professor Jean Merriman Falbo (now retired) sought grants to realize this vision. I was proud to assist their effort with funds from the National Science Foundation, NSF. With further support from the California Energy Commission, the majority of the funding was in place.

Partnering with experts at Sonoma State University and in the community, ETC was carefully designed and opened its doors in the fall of 2001. The Center represented an exciting new advance in both building and education.
Functioning as a teaching tool, demonstration project, and resource hub, it is used as a classroom for the Environmental Studies and Planning Department and several sustainable certificate programs as well as a center for service learning, technical assistance, and community-based research.

Considered a Zero Energy Building because it actually generates more energy than it consumes, its sustainable technologies include roof integrated photovoltaics, advanced window systems, extensive use of daylighting, recycled materials, and thermal mass as well as energy and water-efficient landscaping.

In February, 2002, shortly after ETC opened, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a Congressional field hearing in the Center on the theme of ``A Renewable Roadmap to Energy Independence.'' As the Ranking Member of the Science Energy Subcommittee, I was able to bring nationally known experts whose testimony delivered a clear message: that we could become energy independent with sustainable technologies using the techniques exemplified in the building. In addition, faculty at the Center, such as Dr. Sascha von Meier, testified in Washington, DC, before the Committee and later helped me in writing alternative energy legislation.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating all those who made the Environmental Technology Center possible and who continue to make it a focus of research and application for sustainable building ten years later. I applaud their commitment and foresight in creating ``The Building That Teaches.''

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