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.
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.
By Nadine M. Post
Currently, there are 420 registered projects under ILFI’s four main programs: zero carbon; zero energy; the Petal program; and the top-tier Living Building program, which includes all seven petals, or subcategories. Of these, there are only 112 certified projects and only 23 certified Living Buildings. Certification requires a year of post-occupancy performance data.
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.
BOSTON – At a State House ceremony, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides today honored 32 energy and environmental education programs at Massachusetts schools and nonprofits as part of the 25th Annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education.
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.
By GRETA JOCHEM, Staff Writer
Even the most ardent believers in climate change may not think they can have any effect on this global problem. But Grace Garmah, an Amherst-Pelham Regional High School student, has a different view: “You can do something about it,” she said. Garmah is part of a group of ARHS students brainstorming ways to combat climate change. Their plan: install solar panels in the school parking lot.
By MICKEY RATHBUN, For the Gazette
Imagine being able to look at Mt. Sugarloaf in South Deerfield, or Zoar Bridge across the Deerfield River in Charlemont, and to see at the same time how they appeared back in the 1840s. A wonderful exhibition currently on display at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst provides just such a window onto the landscapes of the Pioneer Valley in the early 19th century, when Orra Hitchcock, a botanist and scientific illustrator, painted them. The exhibition, “Re-presenting Nonotuck: The Landscape Paintings of Hitchcock and Gloman,” pairs Hitchcock’s paintings with contemporary renderings of the same scenes by artist David Gloman, who has been teaching art at Amherst College since 1992.
The Western Mass Youth Climate Summit provides an empowering platform for high school
students to engage in conversations and planning with their peers on the issue of climate change
and to discuss actions and goals their team will take to address the problem. Schools can participate
in the Summit at no charge thanks to support form grant funders and local business sponsors.
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.