Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.23
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date July 11, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Smith College
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Reid Bertone-Johnson
Field Station Manager
Landscape Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Living Building Challenge

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :
In 2012, Smith College’s Bechtel Environmental Classroom, a 2,300-square-foot learning center set on 240 acres of land in nearby Whately, Mass., In January of 2014, it became the fifth building in the world to be certified as a Living Building. Reid Bertone-Johnson, field station manager, worked with many Smith students during the project. The design incorporated composting toilets and solar panels that return to the grid greater than 50 percent more energy than the building uses. Local materials were used and the classroom was sited in an area that required clearing mostly invasive species. All materials used were certified free of carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting chemical agents.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):
Supported by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and located at Smith’s Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station in Whately, Mass., the Bechtel Environmental Classroom was completed in 2012. The single-story wood-framed building was designed by Coldham & Hartman Architects, a firm based in Amherst, Mass., and built by the Deerfield, Mass., contractor Scapes Builders. Inside are a seminar space, a multipurpose room and an instructional lab. An outdoor gathering space offers visitors a view of the Holyoke Range. To meet the Living Building Challenge, buildings must be certified under seven different “petals”—equity, beauty, health, site, water, energy and materials—that encompass issues of sustainability, aesthetics and social justice. Since the Bechtel Environmental Classroom’s opening in September 2012, students have monitored a range of data points around the building’s electricity and water usage to demonstrate that it operated over its first year of occupancy as a net-zero facility, meaning that it generates more energy than it uses and that it draws solely on a renewable water system.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum Yes
Research Yes
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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