Educational Tools

We've been lucky to have the opportunity to install numerous educational tools at the Bristol Bay Campus. These tools are used often in classes, elementary and high school field trips, and campus tours. If you're in Dillingham and would like to see and learn more about some of our offerings please contact us. We'd be happy to show you what we have. Here's some examples of our educational tools:


The Passive Office is an experimental, super energy efficient model structure built mostly by students. Largely based on the Passive House Standard, the world's most stringent energy efficient building standard, the structure lacks a conventional heating system and is designed to maintain a comfortable, year-round temperature mainly from passive solar gain, body heat and by-product heat provided by lighting and electrical appliances. We're currently collecting data to determine the structure's energy performance. The Passive Office is used in classes and tours and as a model for cold-climate construction techniques for the region.

Passive office poster with pictures and construction details

The Passive Office design was recently used as a model for the construction of a new home in Dillingham that was recently recognized by the World Record Academy as the World's Tightest Residential Building. To read more about this net-zero energy ready home visit the Alaska Energy Wiki site.

In 2009, we installed a 4 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the main building of the Bristol Bay Campus. In 2010 the system producted over 3000 kWh. More important is the system's use as an educational tool used in classes and community outreach. Students are provided with the opportunity to observe a working system, learn about the various componants and use real-time, local, renewable energy data.

Learn more about the system and to see data and analysis.

Our bicycle generator is one of our most popular educational tools especially with our younger students and visitors. Students are invited to test their pedal power by powering lights or a bubble machine. Often after pedaling students gain a new appreciation for the value of energy. The bicycle generator is also an important provider of renewable energy at Salmon Camp where students use it to power their laptops.

Our solar/wind hybrid system consists of two small solar panels and a small wind turbine. Because of its small size, the entire system can be easily transported to villages where students are provided the opportunity to learn about renewable energy and gain valuable hands-on experience installing the system. It is an important part of our Home Energy Basics course offered every fall.

In order to analyze energy usage we often rely upon a variety of energy monitoring devices. They're also frequently used in our courses and outreach activities. They can be a valuable tool used for helping home and business owners become more energy efficient. Kill-A-Watt meters are occasionally given out as prizes and are also available for members of the community to borrow.

Indoor air quality is an important issue in rural Alaska and we're frequently asked by community members to address the issue. An energy efficient method for providing fresh air into a building is by using a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). We installed an HRV in our Passive Office for that purpose and to be used as an educational tool in our courses and outreach activities. The HRV is used extensively in our Building Ventilation and Energy course.

We're happy to announce the creation of the Bristol Bay Campus Sustaibility Library. We've compiled a collection of books, magazines and videos on numerous subjects such sustainable energy, cold climate building, organic gardening, self-sufficiency and more. Books and videos are available to the public for checkout. Please visit the Bristol Bay Campus to see what's available!