In 2013 The Hitchcock Center for the Environment was facing a pressing need. They had to expand their facilities in response to a significant increase in the number of people participating in their programming and the number of programs offered. They decided to make an ambitious commitment to a new center built to the highest standard of ecological design, a building that would reinforce their ability to teach, lead and inspire in a movement that uses nature as a model and a measure to improve our quality of life.
They pursued a new facility that would follow the guidelines of the Living Building Challenge and would strive to demonstrate a positive impact on the environment. They would use non-toxic building materials, to create a facility that would generate no waste while capturing and creating all of the water and energy needed for operation. This vision was in line with their educational mission and including solar in the design was a clear and important part of this equation.
"PV Squared took all of the guess work out of meeting the energy goals for our complex project. They provided valuable input as part of a large team of designers and building professionals. Their professionalism and their worker-owned business model made them a pleasure to work with. We loved that they were familiar with the goals of the Living Building Challenge and were able to provide equipment from SunPower that allowed us to meet those goals. We feel privileged to collaborate with a company that has such solid experience in solar technology, coupled with a generous community spirit.”
-Julie Johnson, Executive Director
Choosing PV Squared
The standards set by the Living Building Challenge meant that the Hitchcock Center needed to work with someone that could design a system to meet their Net-Zero Energy goal while using equipment that met the highest environmental standards. While only a small number of buildings worldwide have achieved full certification through this program, PV Squared had already worked as the renewable energy contractor for Smith College’s Bechtel Environmental Classroom, the 5th project to receive Living Building Certification, and was also part of the project team for Hampshire College’s R.W. Kern Center, another project pursuing certification.