While the rest of Nashville was most likely ducking into the nearest building during this past Wednesday's torrential downpour, Urban Green Lab and Lightning 100's Team Green Adventure's were just beginning to led a group on the adventure of a ... Wednesday night.
The adventure began with a walk across Vanderbilt University's campus, led by the Vanderbilt architect responsible for pushing LEED certifications early on around campus. We were then lead to the library to see how the effective use of natural lighting through windows, site position and floor plan changes the entire necessity of lighting.
Until this point, we were walking the walk and talking the talk of your average Vanderbilt tour (well, one with a slightly nerdy twist for sustainability lovers!). Then it starts to get adventurous ...
We arrive at this ominous building:
The ominous-ness however only lasted as long as it took for smiley facilities operation manager to come and take us off into the depths of the plant. He was incredibly passionate about how the plant operated and the amazing transitions it has gone through over time. The power plant stopped burning coal last November and has since turned into a natural gas plant. The plant creates electricity, steam, and chilled water for not only Vanderbilt University's campus but the Medical Center, as well.
With high temperatures, loud noises and huge machinery unidentifiable to the average person it felt like we were going into the depth of another world. A world that Vanderbilt uses to cut down on energy costs and supply back up energy to the Medical Center in case of a blackout.
Thank you to Vanderbilt's construction and planning department, Plant Operations and Sustain VU for the incredible experience and knowledge!