Blog: Living Building Project

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 design standards, featured prominently in the new (2016) science and technology frameworks for grades K-12, provide a terrific vehicle for this.

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

Press Release: Hitchcock Center Receives Boston Society of Architects Honor Award for Sustainable Design

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment with designLAB Architects received the Boston Society of Architects’ (BSA) 2018 Honor Award for Sustainable Design, presented in Boston on January 17, 2019.

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on February 15, 2019.

Hitchcock Receives 2018 Paul Winske Access Award from Stavros

By Jessica Schultz

On October 25, 2018, the Hitchcock Center was pleased to be honored with the Stavros’ Paul Winske Access Award for our efforts to design accessibility, in all its forms, into our building design, programming and daily operations.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on October 30, 2018.

How Can We Store Water During a Drought? A sustainability engineering design problem for fourth graders

By Edward Watt & Gillian Andrews

Last summer our area, which has a strong agricultural economy, experienced a severe drought. We chose to explore this issue in-depth with our students, who understood firsthand the importance of water as a resource and of conserving water in their communities.

Published in Educator Resources, In the News, Living Building Project on September 4, 2018.

Hitchcock Center’s Building for the Future Capital Campaign Continues!

In just over 6 years, we have raised a phenomenal $6,252,488, an average of a little over $1M per year, through the Center’s Building for the Future capital campaign. Our total fundraising goal of $6,777,342 is comprised of two phases – $5,837,342 for Phase One and $940,000 for Phase Two (link). Today we have less than $525,000 left to raise—still a chunk of change but a drop in the bucket compared to what we have already raised.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on August 3, 2018.

Engaging Stakeholders and Funders in Creating a Living Building at Net Positive for Higher Education Symposium

Hitchcock Center Executive Director Julie Johnson presented at the Net Positive for Higher Education Symposium sponsored by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). Her talk on June 26th was entitled Engaging Stakeholders and Funders in Creating a Living Building and shared Hitchcock Center’s process of building constituent support for the Living Building process. For the […]

Published in Blog, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on July 15, 2018.

The Hitchcock Center Unveils New Nature Play and Learning Places Master Plan to Enhance and Engage Outdoor Learning

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment recently released its Nature Play and Learning Places Master Plan, a plan to transform the Hitchcock Center’s grounds into an engaging, interactive and educational outdoor classroom. Ten activity settings will be constructed to offer fun and imaginative nature play areas, hands-on teaching gardens and accessible nature trails for people of all ages and abilities. 

Published in eNewsletter, Living Building Project on April 10, 2018.

Hitchcock Center to be featured in Wild Designs Exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum

The Hitchcock Center has been invited to be part of the Peabody Essex Museum’s (PEM) exciting new Wild Designs exhibit that will profile the works of architects, artists, institutions and other creatives who are looking to nature and living systems for new ideas and creative solutions to human problems.

Published in eNewsletter, Living Building Project on April 9, 2018.
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