Our Living Building

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is home to the 23rd Certified Living Building in the world and the 4th in Massachusetts. Our net zero energy building harvests and recycles its own water, uses composting toilets, and was constructed with responsibly sourced, nontoxic materials. It is a powerful teaching tool that supports a new approach to achieving environmental literacy in the 21st century.

In fall 2016, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment concluded Phase One of our Building for the Future campaign, raising $5.8 million and opening the doors to a beautiful and inspirational, 9,000-square-foot “living” environmental education center. We are grateful for every gift that helped us to:

Design and construct a building that
 will meet the most advanced measure of sustainability in our built environment through the Living Building Challenge™. Click here to view a time-lapse video of the construction of our building from start to finish.

Triple our capacity for educating the next generation of environmental decision makers, advocates, and leaders through three exhibits and adaptive state-of-the-art educational classrooms, a welcoming and engaging Visitor Center, and a community meeting room.

Click to visit our interactive building dashboard.

Implement an innovative exhibit plan that demonstrates how we can use nature’s wisdom to create a healthier and more sustainable future. Click here to view our interactive building dashboard (best viewed on a laptop or computer screen) to see how our building functions.

We could not have accomplished so much without the shared vision and support of our community. Thank you!



2019 Certified Living for Achieving the Living Building Challenge | International Living Future Institute, Seattle
The Certified Living Award Represents achievement of the most rigorous building standard in the world.

2019 Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education | MA Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Boston
Award for “Building and Programs,” Grades K-12

2018 Honor Award for Sustainable Design | Boston Society of Architects, Boston
“Hitchcock Center for the Environment is a strong example of architecture’s power to educate. This center doesn’t merely talk the talk by housing an environmental educational program; it walks the walk. Living Building Challenge designed, the structure is thoughtfully integrated with its site and existing systems. Its formal qualities, its graphics, and its performance achievements combine to tell a complete and compelling story about design.” BSA Jury

2018 Paul Winske Access Award | Stavros, Amherst
Hitchcock Center was awarded for efforts to design accessibility, in all its forms, into its building design, programming and daily operations.

Living Building Challenge™ and related logo is a trademark owned by the International Living Future Institute™ and is used with permission.
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Hitchcock Center for the Environment