By Maureen Turner for Going Green
Hitchcock Center serves as a powerful teaching tool for the rest of us.
Signs of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment’s commitment to sustainability are evident all around its South Amherst site: the large solar array on its roof, the rain barrels at the bottom of downspouts, the station for refilling water bottles in a hallway, the composting toilets in the restrooms. But many of the green measures the center took in constructing its new home, which opened in 2016, are not immediately visible to the eye. At a recent event, “Building without Toxins: Educating for a Healthy Material World,” the nonprofit organization highlighted some of those less immediately obvious measures, the result of thoughtful, even painstaking decisions made at every step of the construction process.
Join materials, toxics, and living building experts for a conversation on toxins in the built environment and how making toxic-free choices in materials is possible.
By Jonathan A. Wright
One of the primary goals of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) is to eliminate the use of known toxins in products installed in the built environment. If it is harmful to life – humans, animal or anything else – do not use it if at all possible. In 2016, Wright Builders Inc. completed two living buildings which will be evaluated for certification in the next 18-to-24 months. These projects gave us a unique opportunity to work inside the largely unexplored new world of materials research, vetting documentation, and research.
There’s a quiet revolution underway in Massachusetts….