Hitchcock Center for the EnvironmentAmherst, Massachusetts

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment recently finished construction on a new facility in Amherst, Massachusetts. The 8,500 sf building offers improved classrooms, a resource center with live exhibits and interactive learning tools, and an open studio for the team of educators. The project connects landscape to architecture through two signature courtyards – the nest space and the den space – along with various gardens, teaching pavilions, and trail systems.

The Hitchcock Center’s mission is to teach environmental literacy at all stages of human development and to seek sustainable solutions through the study of natural systems. This mission directed the decision to pursue and achieve a Living Building Challenge certification for the new facility, which requires net-zero water and energy use through sourcing of environmentally friendly, local materials. Hitchcock considers this building an opportunity to advocate for improved building practices, while demonstrating sustainable principals to all students and visitors.