Supported by a grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Smith College completed the construction of a 2300-square-foot environmental classroom at the Ada & Archibald MacLeish Field Station in 2012. The BEC is designed to be one of the “greenest” buildings in the United States. It uses solar panels to generate more energy than it uses on an annual basis, and Smith students and the building’s designers vetted all of its building materials to ensure that they were the most sustainably sourced materials available. The BEC is registered in the Living Building Challenge, a green-building standard overseen by the Living Futures Institute. At the time of the Pro Tour, CEEDS anticipated that the building would be certified as a “Living Building” in late 2013 or early 2014, a process which was realized in early 2014, making it the fifth Living Building Challenge certified in the world.
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Registration & Networking
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM Tour of Bechtel Environmental Classroom
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Break & Refreshments
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Workshop on what it takes to be an LBC Applicant
This Pro-Tour consisted of a building tour with Reid Bertone-Johnson, Smith’s Field Station Manager, who was part of the project from conception through programming and current use. Reid was joined by members of the design and construction team to discuss the unique challenges of being a Living Building Challenge applicant and the ways in which the LBC both complicated and enriched the design/build experience. Bruce Coldham, FAIA, the project’s architect, was on hand to share his experience working on this Living Building Challenge. The workshop introduced the Living Building Challenge generally and detailed the ways in which Smith’s Bechtel Environmental Classroom meets that challenge. At the time of the Pro Tour, the building was poised to become the 4th or 5th fully certified Living Building in the world, and has since completed the process.
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