Williams College

Project: Environmental Center
Location: Williamstown, MA
Architect: Black River Design

Williams College’s new Environmental Center is one of the first buildings in the country built to the Living Building Challenge (LBC) standards—the world’s most rigorous performance standard for sustainable design and construction. The new Center, which houses both the Center for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, incorporates the historic 18th century Kellogg House—the home of the first Williams College president—and an addition.

One of the country’s most complex LBC projects, it combines historic preservation, extensive urban agriculture and year-round use. In addition to faculty and staff offices, the Center has a classroom, kitchen, reading room, and an outdoor amphitheater.

  • A Living Building Challenge (LBC) project, requiring that a building has net zero energy and water use and regenerates the ecosystem, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy
  • Moved historic 18th century Kellogg House to the campus’ site for its re-use and expansion as the new Center for Environmental Studies
  • Value management that saved the client 18% of the budget, while supporting the stringent design and construction goals of the LBC