When Princeton University officials held the groundbreaking for the school’s Lake Campus development earlier this month, they spoke of how it was the first significant expansion of the college community in more than 100 years.
One hundred years from now, they hope others will speak of the development as a groundbreaking moment in sustainable development.
After centuries of using carbon-based heating technologies, campus officials say they are preparing to move to a new hot-water energy system driven by electric heat pumps, thermal storage and geo-exchange — one of the first in the nation to combine these technologies at this scale — across the university grounds.
The Lake Campus development, which will add housing for graduate students and athletic facilities for a number of teams, will be a completely dedicated geo-exchange campus.
Kyu Whang, Princeton’s vice president for facilities, told the crowd at the groundbreaking that the Lake Campus is a look into what can be a more sustainable future.
“On the land that we are standing on today, Princeton is creating what is truly a 21st-century campus,” he said. “We have the opportunity to build a sustainable campus, not only from the ground up, but from deep below the ground.”