Hitchcock Center Receives Certified Living Award as 23rd Building in the World to Achieve Living Building Challenge

Hitchcock Center is the 23rd Certified Living Building in the world. PHOTO Ngoc Doan

On May 7th, the Hitchcock Center received the Certified Living Award for achieving the Living Building Challenge 2.1 (LBC) for it’s new headquarters! Executive Director, Julie Johnson received the award in person at the Living Future UnConference in Seattle, WA, the annual regenerative design conference organized by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

The certification award, considered the most prestigious level of sustainable design and operation in the world, represents the successful completion of the Center’s new building. It is only the 23rd building in the world to achieve this goal, and the 4th in Massachusetts.

Julie Johnson, Hitchcock’s Executive Director, addresses the audience at the Living Future UnConference ’19 in Seattle where she received the Certified Living Award on behalf of the Hitchcock Center. PHOTO Stephen Brashear

The Certified Living Award was given after the Center’s building met a full year of strict performance metrics that not only included achieving net zero energy, water, and waste, but also the use of locally sourced, nontoxic building materials, native plants for greater biodiversity, and promotion of alternative modes of transportation, among 20 of the Living Building Challenge Imperatives.

L to R: Jason McLennan, Founder, Living Building Challenge; Sam Batchelor, Project Architect, designLAB Architects; Julie Johnson, Executive Director, Hitchcock Center, Jonathan Wright, Principal, Wright Builders, Amanda Sturgeon, CEO, International Living Future Institute at the Living Future UnConference ’19 in Seattle. PHOTO Stephen Brashear

Living Building Challenge has been an aspirational goal for Hitchcock since it decided to expand its operations in 2008. In making that decision, the board and staff knew it was mission critical for the Center to create a building that was not only more restorative than destructive to the natural world, but that would also further serve as an innovative educator. It’s pedagogical framework has not only galvanized the Center’s board and staff, but also its members, donors, and community in a shared sense of hope for a more sustainable future.

“The impact of our project has been nothing short of transformational for all involved. We see this very same impact on the thousands of people who participate in our programs and visit our building each year,” says Julie Johnson, Executive Director.

For our program participants:

For our educators and staff:

In sum, the butterfly effect of our new living environmental education center has gone well beyond the walls of our building. We are deeply grateful to ILFI and LBC for giving us a building framework that empowered us to be a better version of ourselves. We give our heartfelt thanks to our amazingly creative and dedicated design-build team who readily embraced this challenge with us to create a specular and inspirational new home for the Hitchcock Center and the entire Western MA community.

Additional reading:

The case study of Hitchcock’s Living Building is available on the International Living Future Institute’s site.

Read the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s story on our award.

Available for purchase in Hitchcock’s Visitor Center: Living Building Makers: Creating Sustainable Buildings that Renew Our World, by Jonathan Wright. Celebrating the champions addressing climate change, Living Building Makers: Creating Sustainable Buildings That Renew Our World, is a handcrafted collection of stories about the remarkable people who bring the built environment to life. Each chapter captures the insights, creativity, humor, and discoveries of the often-unsung individuals – builders, tradespeople, designers, engineers, educators, tradespeople, operators and owners – who rolled up their sleeves to play a pivotal role in creating two of the greenest buildings in the world on the campus of Massachusetts’ renowned Hampshire College. Veteran builder Jonathan A. Wright’s storied first-hand accounts share how these dedicated professionals transformed their corner of the world by the way they leaned into their work. In the process, the nature of their own work is changed forever.

Comments are closed.

Click here to return to full list of blog entries. Or chose a specific Blog category below.

Blog categories

Recent posts

Blog categories


Translate »
Hitchcock Center for the Environment