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Facilities: Bunker Interpretive Center

BIC in summer

History and Facilities

The Bunker Interpretive Center, at the Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve, provides approximately 5,000 square feet of space which serves as a home base for programs, a study center for the college community, and an educational resource for the general public. Included in that space are a laboratory classroom, a multi-purpose room, and a display hall. The multi-purpose room, depending on its configuration, serves as a lecture hall or as an exploratory space for elementary classes. The display hallway houses permanent and temporary displays to help visitors better understand the flora and fauna of the Great Lakes region.

One purpose of the facility is to help visitors understand their role in the world as stewards of creation. Toward that end, it was decided early in the design of the new building that it should express responsible stewardship in both its construction and its operation. Says preserve director Randall Van Dragt: "When I first wrote criteria for the building, it included making it as environmentally sound as possible." As a target for environmentally sustainable design, the designers adopted the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards of the US Green Building Council, and created a building that received gold certification from the USGBC.

BIC Display Hallway

Reservation Policy

The Bunker Interpretive Center is not available for rental for private events such as retreats, weddings, parties, etc.

To reserve space for Calvin College classes, or environmental or ecological education or organizations, please contact Jeanette Henderson.

professor teaching

Did You Know?

The Bunker Interpretive Center at Calvin College secured LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification in 2005.

lab room

Environmentally Friendly Features

Locating the interpretive center on an old college land fill

Employing low impact building materials wherever possible

Low impact construction practices

Passive lighting and automated passive cooling

Computerized environmental control system

Radiant heating system in the building floors

Building ventilation controlled by occupancy sensors

Heavily insulated walls and ceilings, including a partially earth-bermed south wall

Photovoltaic power system

Multiple water conservation strategies, including those provided by Clivus Multrum, in clude a soil and plant-based gray water treatment system, composting toilets which use minimal water, and landscaping with native species

Demonstration Wind Turbine

east enterance