In the summer of 2004, faculty, students, staff and concerned citizens of Athens County began meeting to discuss the possibility of transforming a university-owned house into a learning center about ecologically sustainable lifestyles. Support for the idea was provided by the university's Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee. This discussion soon led to a formal request to the university, and in January of 2005 this request was granted. A brick house on Dairy Lane was made available for this purpose.
Within five months of initial approval, over $60,000 in grant funding was obtained to support this project. Three students moved into the house in June 2005, a vegetable garden was established, and a solar electric array was installed in August 2005. A solar hot water system was installed soon after.
In the years that followed, additional investments were made in the house, such as energy efficient appliances, multiple composting systems, sustainable landscaping, a community organic garden, rain barrels and more.
The Ecohouse is home to three residents during 10 months of the year, all of whom are current students at Ohio University. Residents need not have any experience in sustainable lifestyles, but must commit to learning such skills during their time as a resident. For more information about house features and resident lifestyles, use the navigation bar to the left.
The mission of the OHIO Ecohouse is to demonstrate affordable green technology and sustainable living in order to inform, engage and inspire both residents and visitors. The OHIO Ecohouse is not just a place – it is a dynamic education experience which promotes critical thinking and tangible actions toward sustainability.