The KEC has taught me the value of acknowledging nature in all of its capacity, whether through active engagement in the outdoors or scholarly dedication in the classroom. —Courtney Pal ’14
Kohler Environmental Center
Choate’s leading-edge environmental research and education center
The Kohler Environmental Center (KEC) is Choate’s leading-edge environmental research and education center located just east of the main campus.
It has 3 working laboratories, 2 classrooms and a greenhouse. It is home to the Environmental Immersion Program, a year-long residential and interdisciplinary program open to fifth and sixth form students who have a passion for understanding and preserving our natural environment.
The KEC Mission is to create a scholarly community dedicated to promoting environmental understanding, stewardship of the land, and social responsibility.
Kilowatt Solar Array
A one-acre, 296-kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic (solar) array provides 100% of the KEC’s energy demand.
State-of-the-art laboratories provide students a one-of-a-kind learning experience.
Some of the environmentally advanced design features of the LEED Platinum KEC include:
- A one-acre, 296-kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic (solar) array that provides 100% of the KEC’s energy demand.
- A rooftop solar evacuated tube system that provides hot water for residents.
- A research greenhouse that provides a computer-controlled environment in which students, faculty, and visiting scholars can conduct experiments.
- Supplemental heat is supplied by burning biodiesel made from waste vegetable oil.
- The closed-loop, ground-source heat pump (geothermal) system includes twenty-five, 450 food deep vertical wells.
- The KEC Sustainable Food Project is based in the southernmost field of the center. The gardens and orchard are tended using methods of organic agriculture and permaculture. The food produced in the gardens is used in the KEC kitchen and students study the complex issues around food production.