Tag Archives: Sustainability

The Taps are Flowing at Hampshire College’s Kern Center

Berkshire Design’s innovative water system at the Kern Center goes live at Hampshire College. It is the first system in the country to not rely on chlorine for water treatment.  Water is collected from the roof and processed through filters before making its way to the faucet.  Part of the larger living building challenge, the project gathers all greywater and blackwater and processes it on site as well.

See the full article here:




Tags: , , ,

R. W. Kern Center Featured in Architectural Record

Ahead of the Pack–Case Studies Demonstrating Exemplary Sustainable Design

Published by Architectural Record on March 1, 2017

Architectural Record has recently published an article showcasing Berkshire Design’s work in Western Massachusetts.  The four projects help promote sustainable strategies in the region and nationwide.

“…In Western Massachusetts, there are four completed projects pursuing certification or already certified: Smith College’s off-campus Bechtel Environmental Classroom, in West Whately; the Class of 1966 Environmental Center, at Williams College in Williamstown; and the Hitchcock Center for the Environment and the R.W. Kern Center, both on the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst. Each building benefited from the regulatory successes of the previous project…Just one example of the many scrutinized elements are those relating to Kern’s roof, which is a critical part of the rainwater-harvesting system. The two firms [Bruner/Cott  & Berkshire Design] studied details such as the optimal slope, the relationship between the overhang and the gutters, and how best to attach screens that help keep leaves and other debris out of the water. ‘The performance criteria can’t be separated from the architecture,’ says Chamberland.”

Read the full article here from Architectural Record http://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/12307-continuing-education-water-conservation

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

At Hampshire College, Sustainability Efforts Reach New Level

Published by the Boston Globe on February 20, 2016

Recently featured in an article by the Boston Globe was the Kern Center at Hampshire College. The Kern Center is a Net Zero energy building, meaning the building will produce ZERO net energy.

The private college’s first new building in 20 years is a model of sustainability, featuring composting toilets, rooftop solar panels to power the building, and a water supply that draws on rainwater stored in underground cisterns. The building, slated to open in April, will use zero net energy, produce its own water supply, and manage its wastewater.


Read the full article here from the Boston Globe: Hampshire College Sustainability Efforts Reach New Level

Tags: , , , ,

Beyond Sustainability: Educating the Next Generation of Designers, Scientists, and Engineers

BDG had the pleasure of showing a class of Hampshire College students around at the Kern Center construction site with Wright Builders, Inc. this morning.  Among other things, they got to see the full-scale constructed wetland that we’ve helped design as part of the Kern Center’s Net Zero Water system.

These photos are from a recent lab project where the class built their own scale model wetlands, which will be tested for their ability to treat wastewater throughout the semester… which is awfully similar to what we’ll be trying to do over at the Kern Center in the coming years.

Hampshire College students build small scale wetlands model for Net Zero building
Hampshire College students work on Net Zero designs
Hampshire College Students build small scale wetlands for Net Zero building




Tags: , , ,