Architecture
R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

R. W. Kern Center is one of the greenest buildings in the world

Designed by Bruner/Cott & Associates, Hampshire College’s R.W. Kern Center in Amherst, Massachusetts has been considered as an environmental milestone. The 17,000-square-foot center is one of the greenest buildings in the world – as it is able to produce its own heat, electricity, and water. It can generate as much energy as it uses throughout the year.

This building is constructed to meet the standards set by Living Building Challenge, which calls for the creation of building projects as nature’s architecture. To reach the desired self-sustaining goals, the eco-friendly center has been outfitted with solar panels, composting toilets and a rainwater harvesting system.

Jonathan Wright, the builder of the project, has installed solar panels on the roof to meet the building’s electrical requirements. The heating is geothermal, and glass windows surpass a top opening standards. The wooden flooring is finished with reclaimed ash from distant barns.

The self-contained rainwater harvesting system collects rainwater on a roof of a building. It further delivers the collected water to one of the dual vast tanks where it’s treated onsite. After that, water is pumped into a clean tank for drinking and cleaning purposes. There is also a doorway that leads to odor-less bedrooms that are installed with composting toilets. The students and visitors can comfortably stay in these rooms, and enjoying landscape views from the huge glass windows.

Kern Center now functions as a hub for student life with a “community living room” and cafe, and it also serves as a welcome center for parents and staff. Moreover, it also houses a learning and teaching laboratory for both students and visitors. This green building is aiming to bring Hampshire closer to its goal that is to be completely carbon-neutral in coming years.

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

One of the greenest buildings in the world

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

It generates as much energy as it uses throughout the year

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

Solar panels are installed on the roof

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

Installed with rainwater harvesting system

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

Wood flooring is made from reclaimed ash collected from distant barn

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

Floor-to-ceiling windows offer outside views

R. W. Kern Center in Hampshire College

It functions as a learning and teaching laboratory, and a hub for student community

Via: Inhabitat

Load More By Monika Thakur
Load More In Architecture

Check Also

JD Composites Builds Three-Bedroom House Out of Plastic Bottles

Plastic waste has become an inevitable problem, but ...