Singh, students offer design improvements for Minneapolis garbage burner

Rick Moore, writing for UMNews, reports College of Design students -- under the direction of Virajita Singh (Center for Sustainable Building Research) -- are helping with the landscaping and site improvements at the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC). "Trash from one-third of the county (including every Minneapolis residence) is burned to generate electricity to power an equivalent of 25,000 homes," writes Moore.

The Greenlight student group held a design charrette in February 2008 and CDes graduate students Ben Beery (MArch), Cassandra Meyer (MS Sustainable Design), Matt Sand (MArch), and Ashley Sommer (MLA) where hired as graduate research assistants to work on the project under Singh. Singh's workgroup submitted the "HERC in My Backyard" report in August 2008.

Graduate research assistants Ben Beery, Ashley Sommer, and Cassandra Meyer stand between Target Field and the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC). Photo by Rick Moore.

Graduate research assistants Ben Beery, Ashley Sommer, and Cassandra Meyer stand between Target Field and the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC). Photo by Rick Moore.

Singh tells Moore the project is "a good template for generating design ideas in a time of constrained resources," and was "a real prototype on how to do this kind of work for organizations, counties, nonprofits." The students told Moore of the benefit of working on a real project. "... Being involved with a county, a large corporation, and a neighborhood is an invaluable experience for a student. We were involved in that process throughout our project, Beery told Moore.

Moore's story is currently featured on the University Web site's home page.

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