R.W. Kern Center

With a planned opening in Spring 2016, the R. W. Kern Center is Hampshire's new 17,000-square-foot living building, designed to operate completely off-the-grid by providing its own energy and water and treating its own waste.  Located at the heart of campus, this multifunctional learning, teaching, and exhibition center promises to serve for years to come as a living laboratory, where students and the public can study its systems and performance, tied to measures for sustainability.

The College's goal is for the R. W. Kern Center to be only the sixth building in the world to achieve Living Building Certification (LBC), which requires the creation of a net-zero energy, waste, and water building.

The R. W. Kern Center is a living symbol of Hampshire's vision of student-driven learning, sustainability, and ethical citizenship, celebrating the confluence of architectural design and conservation.


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.

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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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