Living Building Challenge Mini- Conference Provides Local Educational Opportunities on Hitchcock’s New Environmental Education Center

On September 12 & 13 the Hitchcock Center cosponsored a Mini- Conference on the Living Building Challenge at Hampshire and Amherst Colleges with keynote guest, Amanda Sturgeon, executive director of the International Living Future Institute in Seattle.

The conference sought to inspire over 200 participants to imagine buildings designed and built using net zero energy and water, with locally and regionally sourced, non-toxic materials that incorporate concepts of biomimicry into a functional and educational design using the Living Building Challenge (LBC) as a certification framework. Both Hitchcock Center and Hampshire College projects, currently in design, were highlighted during conference events.

Amanda Sturgeon shared the principles, goals, and requirements necessary to achieve LBC certification, and grounded case studies from around the world. designLAB and Bruner/Cott Architects, project architects for Hitchcock and Hampshire College’s living building project respectively,  discussed how their sustainable design strategies will strengthen each institution’s educational mission. Charley Stevenson of Integrated EcoStrategy and Wright Builders co-led a unique workshop entitled Red List to Green Light to introduce members of the building and construction trades to the Red List – materials sourcing and documentation required for all project materials. Overall, the events brought together a broad range of the community from Hampshire College students and staff, community members, design and building professionals.

We give our thanks and gratitude to Jonathan Wright of Wright Builders, long-time green building advocate and builder in Western Massachusetts, who ignited the idea for this conference. We appreciated the ways in which this conference, with help from event sponsors including Northeast Sustainable Energy Association connected our organizations and strengthened our collective knowledge base. Thank you to all who joined us!

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