Project Team

Jonathan Wright's picture

BE Boston 19 Registrants BE Boston 20 Registrants BuildingEnergy 16 Full Conference Member

Jonathan Wright's picture

BE Boston 19 Registrants BE Boston 20 Registrants BuildingEnergy 16 Full Conference Member

Jonathan continues to serve as Founder / Senior Advisor to the firm he founded 44 years ago, Wright Builders Inc. Beginning in 1976, he was involved in early solar projects, including Jonathan’s development of Massachusetts’s first active solar industrial building in 1977.

The Wright Builders Inc. team continue their dogged pursuit of a sustainable methods and approaches, which include two completed Living Building Challenge projects, the first firm to accomplish this. As a leader in innovation and design, Wright Builders partners with architects and designers to produce signature residences, affordable housing, institutional renovations, and business locations.

Jonathan presents and lectures around the region.

Jonathan and his co-owner Mark Ledwell have provided leadership for the development of Village Hill Northampton, where Wright Builders has delivered over 40 LEED residences. Living Building Makers, a collection of stories about the inspiration effect that sustainable work has on all involved, is due out from Ecotone Publishing in Spring 2019. It will be Jonathans third book.


Other Team Members

Architects: designLAB Architects (Sam Batchelor and Kelley Ard Haigh)
Builder: Wright Builders (Mark Ledwell, Jonathan Writh, Jim Small)
MEP Engineer: Buro Happold Engineering (Kaye Palomo and John Swift)
Civile Engineer: Berkshire Design Group (Christopher Chamberland)
Water System Engineer: Buro Happold Engineering (Ronald Furbish)
Structural Engineer: Structures Workshop (Erik A. Nelson)
Sustainability Consultant: Linnean Solutions (Jim Newman)
Materials Vetting (Red List): Integrated EcoStrategy (Charley Stevenson)
Lighting Designer: Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting
Landscape Designer: Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects (Greg Tuzzolo)
Solar Installer: PV Squared (John Child and Chris Krezmien)
Commissioning Agent: Collier's International (Robert Lee)
Owner's Project Manager: Chris Riddle (retired, Kuhn Riddle Architects)
Hitchcock Center Staff: Julie Johnson, Executive Director and Jessica Schultz, Communication and Living Building Coordinator

Ratings, Awards and Recognition


Living Building Challenge 2.1

NESEA Awards:

Not applicable


Award submissions pending.

Published References:

"A watershed moment" Concrete Decor, October, 2016.

"Hitchcock celebrates new $5.8M home" Daily hampshire Gazette, October 1, 2016

"A river runs through it" PROSOCO, September 15, 2016

"Construction of new Hitchcock Center for Environment building will begin with groundbreaking May 1" Daily Hampshire Gazette, April 25, 2015

"Hitchcock Center takes 'Living Building Challenge'" Going Green, Feb./March/April/ 2015.

"State grant $510,000 for ‘zero net energy’ projects in Amherst, Northampton and Easthampton" Daily Hampshire Gazette, November 5, 2014.

Energy Star Score:
HERS Index::

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment (HCE) is a nonprofit environmental education center in Amherst, MA that has served Western Massachusetts for over 50 years. The Center serves over 9,000 visitors annually through educational programing and events that are open to the public. ( In 2016, HCE completed a new 8,900 square foot net zero energy and water environmental center. In planning for its new facility, HCE needed additional educational space for programing and a building that amplified its environmental education mission as a leader in sustainable design and operation. HCE built to the highest standard of sustainable development in the built environment by taking the Living Building Challenge (LBC). This required HCE to meet over 20 rigorous performance standards that include zero net energy and water and the use of locally sourced, non-toxic materials. The Hitchcock Center is excited to begin the 12-month audit period toward achieving LBC, estimated to begin in early 2017.

Quick Facts


Location Amherst, Massachusetts
Building Type Educational/Assembly
Project Type Zero Energy
Basis of Performance Claim Modeled, Zero Energy Program
Bathrooms 4.0
Conditioned Floor Area 7,442 sq ft
Total Cost of Project $4,473,722

Energy Summary

Energy Data Type Modeled, Zero Energy Program
Renewable Energy System Type(s) Photovoltaics

Living Building Challenge 2.1

Energy Star Score 100
Annual renewable energy generated 64,887 kWh/year

Envelope and Mechanicals

Subslab assembly

4-inches of expanded polystyrene, continuous under slab, and around foundation wall

Foundation wall assembly

Conventional poured in place concrete foundation wall wrapped with 4 inches of expanded polystyrene insulation.

Above grade wall assembly

siding over plywood sheathing, over 6 inches polyisocyanurate insulation (2 layers of 3 inch, joints staggered), over air and vapor barrier, over 3/8 inch plywood sheathing, over 1.25 inches tongue and groove sheathing

Door Assembly

Hollow metal door with polyurethane core. Ceco Door, Assa Abloy 1-3/4" Trio-E Door.

Air Changes per hour, ACH50 0.65 ACH50