Hampshire College Dedicates R.W. Kern Center, Deemed Prototype for Sustainable Building

MassLive
By Diane Lederman

Some of the hundreds who gathered for dedication outside the Kern's Center before dedication began. Diane Lederman/The Republican

Some of the hundreds who gathered for dedication outside the Kern’s Center before dedication began. Diane Lederman/The Republican

Bill Kern came to Hampshire College as a student in the early days of the institution only after his father, Ralph W. Kern, gave him his blessing.

The New York real estate developer knew his son would thrive there, and he also knew about development. He told his son there was no need to reinvent the wheel when it came to building.

But Kern said, “Times are a changing. We have to reinvent the wheel.”

That new wheel is embodied in the new structure at Hampshire College that bears his father’s name. The family donated toward the $9 million construction of the R.W. Kern Center.

Bill Kern was one of nine people who spoke at the building’s dedication Friday, a ceremony that was part of a daylong symposium titled “What Buildings Should Do.”

The 17,000-square-foot Kern Center houses the offices of admissions and financial aid, classrooms, student social areas and a cafe. It was created to embody the college’s mission to foster positive change in the world, and to meet the Living Building Challenge. That means it is designed to generate its own electricity, treat its own waste and collect its own water — meeting a net-zero standard.

Bill Kern said the building “will be a prototype, a model” for other buildings to follow.

Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash said there is no reason to build any other type of building on a college campus. The questions he wanted to leave audience members with were, “Why not and how do we make this happen?”

Dayna Cunningham, a Hampshire parent and trustee, praised the college for providing a place for her son to thrive. Constructed out of non-toxic materials, she called the Kern Center “a love note to the environment.”

“It’s much more than a structure,” said Gary Hirschberg, who created Stonyfield organic yogurt.

A Hampshire alum, Hirschberg said the building is an example “that challenges the myth that green means sacrifice.” He said it shows that a building can use fewer resources and reduce its carbon footprint.

“It’s a win-win-win,” he said, referring to the building’s economic, environmental and educational benefits. The building “is a living, breathing educational opportunity,” he said.

Hundreds attended the dedication, including many Amherst officials. Lash praised the town for its help in working with the college to create the building.

Symposium speakers included Majora Carter, who founded the organizations Sustainable South Bronx and Green for All; Bill McKibben, an environmentalist, author and founder of the climate change advocacy organization 350.org; and Living Building Challenge creator Jason McLennan.

Carter spoke about the importance of self-gentrification, the concept of improving one’s own community instead of leaving it for developers to gentrify. She talked about the coffee shop, tech company and park she helped create in her South Bronx neighborhood.

Of people living in poorer communities, she said, “We want healthy places, we want to feel beauty in nice places.” She said she tries to “give people something to fight for, not something to fight against.”

Carter said it’s time “to stop arguing about the difference between equity and inequality. Let’s just get busy and change the lives of people in need.”

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Football Association FIFA Commits to Climate Neutrality

Photo courtesy of Climate Action Programme.

Photo courtesy of Climate Action Programme.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the first international sports organisation to join Climate Neutral Now – an initiative by the UN climate change secretariat.

The Climate Neutral Now Initiative – launched in September 2015 by a group of organisations including Microsoft, Sony, the Adidas Group and Marks & Spencer – encourages organisations and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint and become carbon neutral by the second half of the 21st century.

The initiative promotes measuring, reducing and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.

By committing to this new initiative, FIFA reasserts its engagement to set a good example to others by placing sustainability at the heart of the organisation’s actions.

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Painting the Final Four Green: Glendale’s Roadmap for Future Activities and Alliances

Green Living Arizona
By Rodric J. Hurdle-Bradford

2016-09-23-painting-final-4-green-image

The 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships culminate with the popular Final Four in Glendale in early April, capping off an action-packed decade of major sporting events in the Valley that also included two Super Bowls, more than 20 college football bowl games, and two NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional Finals. During the past decade, these events have transformed from basic sports hosting opportunities in front of a national audience to international opportunities that showcase the latest and greatest in green sustainability practices within a metropolitan area and its facilities.

“We just completed our first meeting of the NCAA host city committee in August,” said Justin Zeulner, co-founder and executive director of the Green Sports Alliance, comprised of a network of more than 300 sports teams and venues from 20 different sports leagues and 14 countries.  “We started at six original founding members [and now we’re up] to almost 400 because sports has always played a role in social efforts, and now environmental affairs and stewardship is the newest cause,” he said. According to their website, the Green Sports Alliance inspires sports leagues, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, species preservation, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices.

The cause in the Phoenix metropolitan area during March’s Final Four is to develop a blueprint in green efficiency and sustainability. This plan will be put to use in future Final Four events in San Antonio in 2018, Minneapolis in 2019, Atlanta in 2020 and Indianapolis in 2021.

“Phoenix is special because stakeholders want to interact more with community engagement campaigns using this amazing event as a backdrop,” said Zeulner. “Phoenix is unique with its culture, food and energy, so it gives us an opportunity to be creative in the philanthropic space with green activities.”

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MEMBERS INCLUDE...
377
TOTAL MEMBERS
178
TEAMS
184
VENUES
15
LEAGUES