The Technology, Design and Safety Center being built on campus is already looking to be quite the project. It’s been turning heads for weeks with the completion of much of the basic frame and the installation of some glass and windows. There is no doubt that this building will be a breath of fresh air on the campus and also be the most publicly visible.
One of the most promising aspects of the TDS building was the notion that it would have a net energy usage of zero, meaning the building would use only the energy it would produce. Arguably, the most important way for the building to reach this was through the use of solar panels on the roof of the building and using that energy to power the building.
However, it has come to light recently that perhaps the solar panels were not as crucial to the building as originally thought by the Keene State College community.
While the zero net energy and the solar panels were in fact part of the building plan, they were part of later plans for the building, not the building as a whole. The building was not dependent on the solar panels to be completed or opened; instead, they were details to be added later.
Funding for the solar panels was never secured, and instead grants are being sought to potentially pay for the panels. While the panels will eventually exist on the building, it is unknown how long the building will go without them.
It is not unreasonable to open the building without a zero net energy usage or a lack of solar panels to achieve that goal. It is also undeniable that there was a desperate need for a new and improved building for students in the technology, design and safety fields. What is wrong is the lack of clarity about what it was exactly we should be expecting from this building.
It was never really made clear what exactly the building would consist of upon opening. If the building is going to be sold to the community as being extraordinarily energy efficient to the point of having zero net energy, then it should be mentioned there is a possibility that this will not be happening immediately upon opening.
One of the major features of this building has been potentially been shelved until more funds are available, then that should have been common knowledge back before ground was broken on the TDS building.