Blog: Living Building Project

Hitchcock Center Embraces Living Building Challenge

AMHERST, Mass. — The Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst debuted its new 9,000-square-foot facility in fall 2016. Even though the environmental education center is built on the Hampshire College campus, the independent, nonprofit is completely separate, with a mission to develop environmental curriculums that are then implemented in schools throughout New England. Now, that mission is coming to life with its brand-new sustainable facility that doubles as an engaging learning tool for the center’s field trip, after-school and preschool programs, among others. Better yet, it’s currently seeking Living Building Challenge certification.

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on March 23, 2018.

Amherst continues its education in zero-energy construction

By Scott Merzbach

AMHERST — Backers of the bylaw adopted at Town Meeting last fall mandating that all new municipal buildings produce as much energy as they use are continuing to bring experts in zero-energy design and construction to town.

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on February 19, 2018.

Executive Director Julie Johnson Receives 2017 AIA Green Giants Award

Executive Director Julie Johnson was the recipient of this year’s Green Giants Award in recognition of her work to envision and fund the Hitchcock Center’s newly constructed living building.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on December 15, 2017.

Hitchcock Educators Travel to Latin America as Professional Fellows

Colleen Kelley, our Education Director, and Jessica Schultz, our Sustainability & Living Building Coordinator, have both been accepted into the Environmental Sustainability for Latin American Professional Fellows Program.

Published in Blog, Educator Resources, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on December 15, 2017.

Building without toxins: Hitchcock Center shows how it’s done

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.

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on November 9, 2017.

Columnist Jonathan Wright: Kern Center a first for the the planet

By Jonathan Wright

A recent Gazette article on the award-winning R. W. Kern Center at Hampshire College, also commenting on its beautiful sister-ship, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, on the Hampshire campus, gives the reader a sense of the scope of the Living Building Challenge undertaking and the achievement (“Hampshire College’s new building earns national award for sustainability,” June 5).

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on July 12, 2017.

Creating a new normal in a ‘living’ building

By Katie Koerten

As an environmental educator at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, I do most of my work outside. Until our recent move to our new “living” building I didn’t consider that our nature center itself could help me teach about the environment as well.

Published in Earth Matters, Living Building Project on June 30, 2017.

Living Building Recharge!

By Julie Johnson

After nearly 8 years of planning, designing and constructing the Hitchcock Center’s new living building, I attended the annual conference of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) in Seattle, WA, the people who brought us the Living Building Challenge. Held over 5 days in May, the focus of this conference is more than simply how we can transform the built environment. It’s about how we can transform society.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter, Living Building Project on June 22, 2017.

Building Without Toxins: Educating for a Healthy Material World

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.

Published in Living Building Project on June 5, 2017.

From Red List to Ready List

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.

Published in In the News, Living Building Project on February 6, 2017.
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