Berkshires college tour, center seeking Living Building Challenge cert

Submitted by William College
2015-06-17 15:00:07

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.– The Class of 1966 Environmental Center at Williams College is offering a tour of center for the community at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24. Indoor and outdoor activities for children will be offered, along with light snacks.

“We welcome the community to tour the Environmental Center to learn more about sustainability and green building initiatives,” said Amy Johns, director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives.

The Environmental Center was dedicated in April and will be seeking Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification. LBC is the most rigorous and advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment. The Environmental Center must demonstrate net-zero energy and water consumption for one year of full occupancy to meet the LBC. It is believed that the Environmental Center is the first historic campus building to seek the certification.

The Center contains features that maximize space and minimize energy and water demand. It uses on-site solar energy and rooftop water collection to produce 100 percent of the energy and water required for its operation. Offices are compact and its larger rooms serve triple duty as classrooms and meeting rooms during the day, student study spaces and workrooms in the evening and social and informal gathering spaces for students, faculty, staff and alumni throughout the year. There is also on-site food production, with more than one-third of the site being used for organic food production.

The Center houses both the Center for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. . In addition to faculty and staff offices, the building has a classroom, kitchen, reading room and an outdoor amphitheater. Formerly known as the Kellogg House, the Environmental Center was built in 1794 as a home for the college’s first president, Ebenezer Fitch, and served as the home for the next three presidents. It has been renovated and moved three times and was used as faculty housing for many years. In 1978, it became the home of the Center for Environmental Studies program.

An RSVP for the tour is appreciated and can be sent to Michael A. Evans, assistant director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, at . A campus map showing where the Class of 1966 Environmental Center is located can be found at .

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