Tag Archives: Sustainable

Waggin Trails Dog Park Featured in the Boston Globe

Northampton’s future private dog park at Glendale Road was featured recently in the Boston Globe.  Envisioned by Sarah Schatz of Sarah’s Pet Services, Berkshire Design assisted in the design and permitting of the dog park.   Currently the project is beginning construction documents.

The dog park seeks to connect dog owners to trails featuring New England forests and meadows, in addition to a new dog pond, and sand dunes for dogs.   There will be three fenced in areas: 15 acres of trails with a pavilion, stone outcrops, meadows, and woods; large dog area with dog pond and walking path, deck and connection to a park building with patio overlook, dog wash station, and porch; and thirdly a small dog area with walking paths, a sand dune, and shade trees.  Sarah envisions a key fab system for access to the park’s features.  Classes may be held on site for dog owners as well.  The project really took great care to protect existing natural features within the parcel.  Once the team discovered a large wetland constellation on site, they revised the plans to protect these areas.  Existing trails on site were rerouted out of wetlands and wildlife corridors were persevered in the interior of the site.  Dog owners must walk their dogs across an existing stream crossing and wildlife corridor before entering the fenced in 15+ acre trail area.  The project architect, Tom Douglas Architects, has designed the park building, and ‘Scapes builders plans to start construction in the Spring.

The project hopes to push sustainable waste management once the project comes on line.  Either with a anaerobic digester, or composting options for reducing the impact of dog waste on the environment.

See the full article here:



Tags: , ,

Academy School Nature Playground: Successful Community Build Day

Last Saturday, Jeff Squire and Rachel Loeffler, Landscape Architects at Berkshire Design, teamed up with Cory Frehsee of Stevens and Associates, Chris Bell of Bellco Construction, and Academy School Parents and Volunteers led by Andy Paciulli, Principal of the Academy School.  Their mission: to complete Phase 1 of the Academy School’s new nature playground.

The project began this summer with a vision by Andy Paciulli of adding a nature playground to the Academy School grounds.  The school already integrated forest and stream play in with its curriculum and a more formalized nature play experience was desired for the site.  Andy and Cory Frehsee, a parent and Civil Engineer, brought in Berkshire Design to assist with the design and planning for the project.  Berkshire Design met with teachers and a few parents to listen to their vision for the project.  Stevens Associates meanwhile surveyed the area set aside for nature play, an area with existing trees, terrain, and a stone wall.  Compiling all this information, Berkshire Design prepared 3 design concepts for feedback from the school  After several review discussions, the project was broken out into phases and donations and volunteers were solicited from the community.

Bellco Construction prepped the site prior to school starting, and came back for the Community Build Day to help with the “heavy lifting.”  The project reuses natural materials found on site, and works with the existing grades as an asset, shaping them into a sledding hill, mud kitchen, shade sail, play fort, and climbing logs.  A bog bridge was built from the mud kitchen to a water play area.  The water play area, willow nest, and willow wall maze are slated for Phase 2.

The construction happened so quickly, one student came up to volunteers asking within an hour of the balance logs’ completion if they could play on the new structure.  “Not yet,” team members iterated.  “We have to put down protective play surfacing first.”  The excitement was palatable.

Upon opening, kindergarten students ran up the hill to the play fort and pretended that they were out at sea–deep sea fishing.  The kids are already making this playground their own.

See a shout out to the project in the Brattleboro Reformer:



Tags: , ,

A year later; a brighter future: Celebrating Nashawannuck Pond Promenade

A year later, the Nashawannuck Pond Promenade, is credited with a resurgence in Easthampton’s downtown.  Local businesses are seeing a direct correlation in the opening of the promenade and a spike in business and visits.  Recently the City installed wifi so you can have amazing views of the pond and the mountain range and stay connected digitally.  It is this kind of progressive thinking that is helping Easthampton make its mark in the region.  The promenade redevelopment ties in well as a public amenity for new businesses and apartments going into old mill buildings in the heart of downtown.  Berkshire Design is proud to have been part of the Design, Permitting, and Construction Documentation, and Observation of making this project a reality: Connecting Easthampton back to its waterfront.

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: , , , , , , , , ,