Blog: Living Building Project

Green Harmony: How science and the building industry can join forces for a healthier environment

What happens when two architects, two research scientists, and an advocate for healthy buildings walk into a room? If their assignment is to influence the architecture, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) community to embrace the design of healthier buildings, they might pose these questions: If you knew that a building product you selected for your project caused cancer, you wouldn’t specify it, would you? If you knew that day-care furniture was exposing children to a vast array of toxic chemicals, you wouldn’t buy it, would you? If you knew that stain-retardant treatment was poisoning our water supply, would you still select white carpet and upholstery, which won’t stand up to use without that treatment?

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on December 19, 2019.

Build Better Podcast Features Hitchcock Center

Hitchcock Center’s Living Building Coordinator Jessica Schultz and architect Sam Batchelor of designLAB architects were featured on the Build Better podcast. In this segment, Jessica and Sam talk about what it means to build a Living Building, how the building can be design to be a teaching tool, and how we use the building to promote environmental and social change.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on October 7, 2019.

Build Better Podcast Episode 11: Sam Batchelor and Jessica Schultz discuss the Hitchcock’s recent recognition of being the 23rd Living Building in the world

In Episode #11 of the Build Better podcast, Anastasia chats with Sam Batchelor of designLAB Architects and Jessica Schultz of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment to discuss the Hitchcock Center’s recent global recognition as the 23rd living building in the world and the 4th in Massachusetts. They detail how the Hitchcock Center achieved the certification and how they are both educating people on the importance of building sustainably.

Published in Blog, In the News, Living Building Project on July 10, 2019.

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

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.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on June 1, 2019.

The Living Future unConference Emphasizes Equity in Sustainable Design

By Erin Langner

“The Living Future Challenge was the first metric where I saw my culture reflected,” said designer and Arizona State University professor Wanda Dalla Costa during the Living Future unConference, a multi-industry gathering focused on sustainable design. This year’s iteration—the thirteenth—was hosted in Seattle from April 30–May 3.

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on May 10, 2019.

Amherst’s Hitchcock Center 23rd building in world to win green award

By Scott Merzbach

Three years after the Hitchcock Center for the Environment opened a new learning center at 845 West St., at the edge of the Hampshire College campus, the building is demonstrating the possibilities of a resilient, self-sufficient building.With a third-party audit complete and 12 months of continuous operation showing the building is performing as designed, the Hitchcock Center’s headquarters became the 23rd building across the globe, most of which are in the United States, to earn a Certified Living Building Award from the International Living Future Institute.Presented May 2 to Executive Director Julie Johnson at the Living Future UnConference, an international sustainability conference in Seattle, the award means that the center has earned designation through the Living Building Challenge, considered the most rigorous standard for green buildings.

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on May 10, 2019.

Press Release: Hitchcock Center’s Building Receives Top Award and Global Recognition as the 23rd in the World to Achieve Living Building Status.

Amherst, MA, May 6 — Executive Director Julie Johnson of the Hitchcock Center has returned to Western Massachusetts from an international sustainability conference with a Living Certified Award that recognizes the Center’s visionary leadership in creating a building that gives more than it takes and inspires thousands of people to take action for a more sustainable future.  

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on May 7, 2019.

How do we build and live in toxin-free buildings?

By Jessica Schultz

The modern environmental movement began with Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” about widespread contamination of land and water by DDT and other long-lasting pesticides. Developed in the 1940s, these chemicals went into wide use after World War II. But evidence mounted that they persisted in the environment and accumulated in animal and human tissue; as a result, DDT and most related pesticides have been phased out in the U.S. and elsewhere.However, another class of toxic compounds that were developed around the same time — perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS), with some of the same environmental and health concerns — continue to be used in a host of consumer products and building materials. They are now found in the bodies of virtually all humans and are considered to be ubiquitous throughout the web of life.When we think about what materials to incorporate into the construction of the places where we live and work, do we really want to use any product containing toxic, persistent chemicals?

Published in Earth Matters, Living Building Project on February 22, 2019.

Artwork by Deborah Savage Illustrates Nature Themes Throughout Hitchcock Center

By Casey Beebe

We were so pleased this past year to work again with local artist and writer Deborah Savage with support from an exhibit grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. Deborah painted some beautiful, true to life, educational mural panels for our composting restrooms and background habitat paintings for our turtles and snake.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on February 19, 2019.

The New Living Hitchcock Center Building as a Teaching Tool – Yes!

By Ted Watt Our Living Building has zero-net-energy and zero-net-water systems that keep us functioning. As part of our on-going process of settling into the building we have been developing curriculum using the building’s features in our teaching. Our goal is teaching young people about alternative technologies that use fewer resources from the planet. Engineering […]

Published in Blog, Educator Resources, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on February 15, 2019.
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