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Log House Craft Gallery Gets Eco-Makeover

Berea College’s Log House Craft Gallery, where products of Berea’s Student Crafts program as well as other fine crafts from throughout the region are sold, has almost completed an energy-saving makeover. The changes make the building more comfortable and will reduce the costs for heating and lighting the three-story log structure, while retaining its historic appearance.

Log House Craft Gallery

The renovations will bring the building into compliance with the College’s new renovation standards, developed as part of Berea's efforts to reduce its energy use and become a more sustainable campus. A major goal of the initiative is to reduce overall campus energy use by 45% by the year 2015.

Replacement of all of the building’s 90 windows was recently completed. The single-glazed windows were all replaced with double-insulated glass windows, and is expected to save approximately 10% on energy costs. The glass also has a low E covering, providing greater protection from ultraviolet light which degrades fabrics and other interior building finishes.

The building’s track lighting fixtures and bulbs are being replaced with more energy efficient fluorescent models that also produce less heat in the summer, a change that is expected to reduce energy costs for lighting by 30-40%.

Other changes include installation of high efficiency heat pump systems for heating and cooling and additional insulation. Currently, the Log House is heated with steam through the old heat plant. With the completion later this year of a new heat plant which uses hot water instead of steam, the heat pumps will mean a reduction in the amount of new piping required for the conversion. The additional insulation in storage areas and in the attic bring the insulating value to R-30, which also meets the new campus standards for insulation.

The Log House was built in 1917 to house the College's Fireside Weaving industry and to serve as a crafts saleroom. When Sunshine Ballard Cottage, current home of the student weaving industry, was built in 1921 behind the Log House, the latter became the College's primary sales and show room. Changes in the 1950s were a first floor addition and allocation of exhibit space on the second floor for some of the College's collection of Wallace Nutting Early American reproduction furniture. Additional interior improvements and decorative updates were made in 1999.

The Log House is currently celebrating Berea’s 150th anniversary with a special exhibit of old and new products made by Berea College Student Crafts.


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