News

Why the Long Grass?

The Environmental Center landscape design works to restore the natural resources of the site by cleansing on-site rainwater and wastewater for future use, (i.e. irrigation & internal building use) and establish plant communities that function as biological islands to enhance wildlife habitat, attract insect and pollinators, which increase agricultural productivity. These landscapes provide great environmental

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What is Living about this Building?

While the Class of 1966 Environmental Center doesn’t breathe, it is self-sufficient in a number of ways. It produces – or harvests – all the energy that the building needs to operate from four solar arrays sprinkled around the site. (For a time lapse video of our solar trackers in action, click here.) The building captures, stores, and

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Capturing, Filtering, and Conserving Water

Of course, in the Environmental Center, we try to conserve water.  We do this both through our behavior (think minimizing outdoor irrigation and using pond water when we can) and through design and building infrastructure. Here are a few design pieces that help us minimize water use: Low flow faucet in bathroom: .375 gpm Low

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Composting Toilets

The toilets in the two bathrooms of the Environmental Center look normal enough. Take a few steps closer and you’ll see that there are a few differences.  First off, you’ll notice that the toilet is plugged in.  Secondly, you’ll probably see that there is no handle to flush it, but instead a single button on

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Passive Solar Design

These are passive solar shades that allow sunlight through when the sun is low in the sky (wintertime) to light and warm the building and block sunlight when the sun is higher in the sky (summertime) to help cool the building. For more information, visit our Passive Solar Design webpage in our Green Building Basics

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More Western Mass LBC buildings – Hampshire opens the Kern Center

On April 29, 2016 Hampshire College celebrated the opening of the Kern Center -their own Living Building Challenge building, which will house Admissions and Financial as well as classroom space and a coffee bar.  Like the Class of 1966 Environmental Center at Williams College, the Kern Center must successfully complete a performance year before it

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What’s That Wednesdays?!

Check out the beautiful photos and interesting tidbits about various corners of building through the #WhatsThatWednesdays Instagram posts.    

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Kitchen temporarily closed

Due to a few kitchen challenges, we are temporarily closing our kitchen. We hope to reopen it soon and will notify trained Kitchen Users* when it is back up.   (If you would like to be able to use the kitchen, email Postyn to sign up for a training when the kitchen is back online.) *We

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Solar Trackers in Action

Time lapse of our solar trackers tracking the sun. Trackers are more efficient because they maximize solar capture by following the sun across the sky, making adjustments for both seasonal and daily shifts. To see real-time solar data at the Envi Center, visit the Environmental Center’s homepage. To read more about the goals of this net-zero energy and net-zero

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Weather Reports from the ’66 Environmental Center

There’s a new weather station on campus – and it is at the Class of 1966 Environmental Center. “We recently installed a new weather station to help us monitor solar and water inputs to the ’66 Environmental Center,” explained Jay Racela the Technical Assistant and Envi Lab Coordinator.  “It’s a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Plus

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