Eastham Hostel to Go Green with Upcoming Remodel


Hostelling International USA-Eastern New England Council announced today that a design team led by A+E Architects of Cape Cod has been selected to create a feasibility study and master plan for the "green" remodel of the Eastham hostel.

"We are thrilled to be at the cutting edge of green hostel development," said Deborah Ruhe, Executive Director of Hostelling International USA Eastern New England Council (ENEC), operators of the Eastham hostel. "We have an opportunity to create one of the first 'environmentally responsible' hostels in the United States, right here on Cape Cod, one of the most ecologically sensitive locations in New England. With the new facilities, the hostel plans to introduce guests and visiting groups to the natural world of Cape Cod by providing a 'living building,' that offers hands-on learning and discovery," explained Ruhe.

ENEC is working with Dick Hilmer of Explore Cape Cod as the Green Hostel Project Coordinator. He will continue to spearhead efforts on Cape Cod, as the project progresses.

"We are thrilled to be at the cutting edge of green hostel development."

Choosing the design team is the first milestone for this project. After a lengthy review process, ENEC recently signed a formal agreement with A+E Architects of Brewster to develop a feasibility study for the existing hostel site.  A+E principals Alison Alessi and Bob Evans specialize in environmental technologies that respond to the natural use of the building.

Another member of the design team is Sage Design principal, Susan Buchan, a LEED-certified architect who specializes in sustainable design and materials, and historic preservation. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings that are represented by a Green Building Rating System. The Hostel hopes to achieve LEED certification once the project is completed.

Both A+E Architects and Sage Design are members of the Cape & Islands Renewable Energy Collaborative (CIREC), a network of individuals and organizations with a common interest in achieving a sustainable energy future. CIREC recently became the local chapter of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), the leading regional organization focused on promoting the understanding, development and adoption of energy conservation and renewable energy technologies through research, outreach and education.

Other members of the design team include Wilkinson Ecological Design of Brewster that will guide the land planning and Tom Wineman of Clean Energy Design, who will focus on renewable energy technologies.

After the study phase of this project is completed ENEC expects to launch a capital campaign to raise the funds needed for construction.

The seasonal hostel, located on Goody Hallet Road in Eastham, has operated since the 1960s and is located on land owned by the Eastham Conservation Foundation.

Photos of the current Eastham Hostel buildings provided by Hostelling International USA.

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