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R. W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

Bruner/Cott Architects and Planners


893 West Street



Hampshire College


  • Jason Forney, AIA, LEED AP
  • Jason Jewhurst, AIA
  • Christopher Nielson


  • Construction Manager: Wright Builders
  • Electrical Engineer: RW Sullivan
  • Geotechnical Engineer: O'Reilly, Talbot & Okun Associates
  • Landscape Architect: Richard Burke Associates
  • Lighting Designer: Lewis Lighting Design
  • Mechanical Engineer: Kohler & Lewis Engineers
  • Structural Engineer: Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates
  • Other: Cutler
  • Other: Strategic Building Solutions
  • Other: South Mountain Company
  • Other: AM Fogarty
  • Other: Rybak Engineering
  • Other: Integrated Eco Strategy
  • Other: Coldham & Hartman Architects
  • Other: Berkshire Design Group
  • Other: Kalin Associates

Year Completed



16,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost


Certifications and Designations



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Project Description

The Living Building Challenge is the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard. It calls for “the creation of building projects….that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture.” To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including Net Zero energy, and Net Zero waste and water, and avoiding the use of any ‘Red List’ materials. Bruner/Cott's Kern Center, an LBC project at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, is a new low impact, flagship building. The program includes campus admissions, indoor and outdoor learning spaces, a coffee bar, public lobby, and student gallery space. Sustainable features include a roof reservoir for the collection of water; water filtration system to produce drinking water from the collected rainwater; grey water to be filtered by indoor plantings; 100% stormwater management on site; restoration of landscape to include native plantings and low maintenance meadows; a rooftop 100KW photovoltaic array for electric power; R40-rated insulated walls; an R60 rated roof; and composting toilets. Construction materials include Ashfield schist (local stone); Nordic Lam Glulam timber framing (easily de-assembled and re-used for end-of-life); reclaimed flooring; re-used door slabs salvaged from local demolition; high performance windows designed in Germany, manufactured locally with triple-pane glazing and high-efficiency coatings; and polished concrete flooring, eliminating the need for complex flooring systems where possible.

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