About Our Building

The R.W. Kern Center is the 17th certified Living Building in the world, a model for sustainable design in action.

It meets the stringent requirements of the world’s most advanced green building standard, the Living Building Challenge: it generates its own electricity, collects and treats its own water, and is built with local, non-toxic, and low-carbon materials. The 17,000-sq-ft building supports Hampshire College’s efforts to make campus operations carbon neutral. This multi-functional building also serves as a living laboratory where students and the public can study innovative systems and evaluate performance.

Project Team

Architect: Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc.
General Contractor: Wright Builders, Inc.
LBC Materials Vetting: Integrated Eco Strategy
Civil Engineer: Berkshire Design Group
Mechanical Engineer: Kohler & Lewis Engineers
Electrical Engineer: R.W. Sullivan Engineering
Plumbing: Kohler & Lewis Engineers
Lighting Design: Lewis Lighting Design
Geotechnical Engineer: O’Reilly, Talbot & Okun Associates
Landscape Design: RIchard Burke Associates
Structural Engineer: Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates, Inc.
Fire Protection: Rybak Engineering
Specifications: Kalin Associates, Inc.
Energy + Systems: Marc Rosenbaum
LBC Strategy: Coldham & Hartman Architects
Cost Estimating: A.M. Fogarty
Code: Hal Cutler


Dig Our Data

Check out the dashboard to learn more about the R.W. Kern Center’s emissions, energy, water, and air quality.

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The Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge requires buildings to meet 100% of their energy needs with on-site renewable energy, to provide 100% of water demand using on-site rainwater collection, and to process their own wastewater and stormwater on site. The Challenge also sets strict guidelines for material selection, including a banned “Red List” of toxic building substances and requirements for local sourcing. Perhaps most uniquely- and in alignment with Hampshire’s educational ethos- Living Buildings must put people first, emphasize a relationship with nature, and inspire and educate all who interact with them.

Check out what makes the R.W. Kern Center a Living Building:

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