Pensmore Foundation Launches New Research Project

Energy Research Laboratory Breaks Ground at Hampden-Sydney College
FARMVILLE, Va. - Aug. 27, 2014 - PRLog -- Hampden-Sydney, VA - On Monday, August 11, the Pensmore Foundation and Hampden-Sydney College broke ground on a freestanding energy research laboratory.  Students and faculty in the college’s Departments of Physics & Astronomy, and Mathematics & Computer Science will have a unique opportunity to research energy monitoring, energy conservation, and sustainable buildings in a grant-based project on campus.

Funds to build the Energy Research Laboratory, a 26’x45’ building that will feature advanced building materials and technologies, were provided by the Pensmore Foundation.  Steven Huff, Hampden-Sydney Class of 1973 is chairman of both the Foundation and of TF Concrete Forming Systems.

The building will be constructed with walls of 1-ft.-thick concrete mixed with patented, 1” long helix steel fibers, which provide strength and flexibility to the concrete and uphold structural integrity in tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, and blasts. The walls are super-insulated on the exterior and possess excellent thermal mass - the ability to hold fairly constant temperatures within the structure over extended periods of time. Solar panels and geothermal wells will provide heated or cooled water for tubing inside the walls, maintaining a consistent, comfortable climate within the structure.

The ultimate objective of the project is to test the wall’s thermal mass by maintaining proper temperatures inside the building with minimal energy-input using sustainable resources, in this case using solar power and geothermal sources.

With record-cold temperatures across the country this past winter, increasing energy costs, and government restrictions on traditional energy sources, the need to find cost-effective and energy-efficient technologies for both homes and commercial buildings is helping to drive the evolution of building technologies.  This Energy Research Laboratory will play a key role in that ongoing development.

About Pensmore Foundation

The Pensmore Foundation ( explores issues related to the intersection of science and faith, and research on highly durable energy-conserving construction systems and methodology.  The Foundation has organized or sponsored multiple national conferences, including the Pensmore Dialogue on Science and Faith, as well as the establishment of the Energy Research Laboratory at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or requests.

About Hampden-Sydney College

Hampden-Sydney College ( is a liberal arts college for men located in Virginia.  The College, which began operation in 1775, is noted for its Honor System, traditional liberal arts curriculum, Rhetoric Program, strong Division III athletic program, and its focus on the educational and character development of young men.

Ralf Augstroze
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