R.W. Kern Center (Robert Benson Photography)

Hampshire Wins International Campus Sustainability Achievement Award for R.W. Kern Center

Hampshire College Earns Living Building Certification for R.W. Kern Center

R.W. Kern Center

The R.W. Kern Center is the 17th certified Living Building, an embodiment of Hampshire’s values in practice and ideas in action. Our first major new building in three decades, it meets the stringent requirements of the world’s most advanced green building standard, the Living Building Challenge: generating its own electricity, collecting its own water, and built avoiding toxic “red list” chemicals using materials mainly from local and regional sources. The 17,000-sq-ft center is a major piece of Hampshire’s broad sustainability initiative to make campus operations carbon neutral, including a plan to go 100 percent solar for campus electricity. This multi-functional building also serves as a living laboratory where students and the public study its systems and performance, tied to measures for sustainability.

R.W. Kern Center News

Video on Kern Center Tutorials

October 25, 2015

Wetlands Boxes as Water Filters

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Science lab demonstrates wastewater system of campus’s new Kern Center living building.

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Hampshire Students Launch Hands-on Lessons in Building Systems

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

“I’ve never taken a math class that was this pragmatic,” says Walden Avery as he scoops a pile of gravel. Avery and the three members of his team, all first-year Hampshire students, are gathered around a plastic box on the lawn outside the Cole Science Center. Their aim: to create a miniature wetlands, a lesson related to the wetlands being constructed around the Kern Center to help treat the building’s wastewater.

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R.W. Kern Center's Water Treatment System

The R.W. Kern Center’s design documents explain that the building’s greywater—water from the bathrooms and kitchen sinks and drinking fountain drains—will be pre-filtered and captured in a greywater storage tank.

Kern Center water treatment system

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Collaboration and Cooperation Drive Innovative Kern Center Construction

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Kern Center is quickly taking shape as the most visible symbol of the College's commitment to sustainable building practices, placing Hampshire at the center of the national discussion around the confluence of design and energy and water conservation.

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R.W. Kern Center: "How We Think About Sustainability"

April 22, 2015


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