Making buildings even greener: Integrated Eco Strategy develops online tool to aid in green building construction

by Tony Dobrowolski

Photo credit: Gillian Jones, The Berkshire Eagle

Integrated Eco Strategy recently launched Red2Green, a new healthy building materials selection tool that is modeled after the requirements of the Living Building Challenge, a green certification program and design framework developed by the nonprofit International Living Future Institute of Seattle.

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Letter to Editor, of the Standard Times: Leaders Educators & Innovators
By: Kathryn Duff, studio2sustain inc, Lloyd Center for the Environment, Board of Directors
8 May 2017

The Standard Times recently featured an article about the partnership between the Lloyd Center for the Environment (LCE) and the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School (GNB-VOC) relative to the construction of the LCE Welcome Center, and the pursuit of a “Living Building Challenge” certification. As the Architect of this project I wanted to highlight both the Lloyd Center and GNBVOC, in particular the extraordinary leadership by both organizations, resulting in exceptional educational opportunities for students.

The LCE is pursuing a “Living Building Challenge” (LBC) certification on this project – the first in Southeastern, MA, and among very few worldwide. An LBC certification is considered the most rigorous environmental achievement for buildings; there are only twelve fully certified buildings worldwide. It is an honor to work with LCE Executive Director Rachel Stronach and her team on this impactful, rigorous and visionary project, and with GNB-VOC Superintendent James O’Brien and his team, including students.


GNB Voc-Tech teams up with Lloyd Center for Living Building Challenge

South Coast Today / Wesley Sykes / April 27, 2017

NEW BEDFORD — Students from Greater New Bedford Regional-Technical High School, in collaboration with Studio2Sustain, will be faced with a unique challenge when it comes to designing the Lloyd Center for the Environment’s new welcome center.

The building project is designed to pursue the rigorous green building standards of the “Living Building Challenge” (LBC) certification of the International Living Future Institute. The goal is that when completed, the 960-square-foot building will become one of a handful of LBC buildings in the world.


Matt Root Bolsters Integrated Eco Strategy’s Northeast Presence (Our Press Release)

NORTH ADAMS, MA—Matt Root has been named senior project manager for Integrated Eco Strategy, a consulting firm facilitating sustainable and regenerative building design, renovation and construction. In his new position, Root will manage healthy materials and energy related projects in the Boston region, as well as develop new projects, consult with clients and represent Integrated Eco Strategy at regional and national conferences.

Root comes to Integrated Eco Strategy from CLEAResult, an energy efficiency consulting firm, where he led a multi-disciplinary team of mechanical engineers, building-enclosure experts and building scientists. His experience includes serving as a Home Energy Rating System rater and then as a LEED for Homes Quality Assurance Designee.


Integrated Eco Strategy Relocates, Expands Workforce and Launches Database Program (Our Press Release)

NORTH ADAMS, MA—As anyone with a seven-year-old will tell you, that age is an important milestone. Integrated Eco Strategy, a North Adams-based consulting firm is now seven, and hitting many significant markers of its own—including a relocation of the company’s main office to accommodate the most rapid growth in the company’s history, launch of a unique healthy materials database and certification as a “Just” organization.

Founded in 2010 to provide client-focused, high-value green building services, Integrated Eco Strategy recently moved from Williamstown into a new headquarters at 85 Main St. The larger facility was needed to accommodate more than a dozen new employees, including a Boston region senior project manager. The staff has grown in response to new and ongoing projects, and an expansion of the firm’s Northeast presence.


Building Energy / Spring 2017 / Jonathan A. Wright

“Fundamentally, the vetting process is a continuous, three-way collaboration between architect, construction manager and materials consultant. Early on, I asked Charley Stevenson of Integrated Eco Strategy, who would actually be accountable for securing materials documentation, and he said we
would collaborate. Hmmm. Who, and how, exactly? The process evolved through months of weekly calls, hot lists and dead ends. Together with Kern Center architects Bruner/Cott and the Hitchcock Center’s DesignLab, we all lent significant effort and creativity to the process. Charley was so right – everyone has to get under the weight of it to avoid wasting time and resources.”

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Architectural Record / March 1, 2017 / Joann Gonchar

Some regions seem especially receptive to the LBC and its water-conservation imperative. 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. “By the third one, the permitting process was almost routine,” says Christopher Chamberland, a civil engineer with the Northampton, Massachusetts–based Berkshire Design Group, which has been involved in some aspect of the water systems of all the area’s projects.

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High-performance construction products manufacturer Prosoco, explains the significance of helping create a Living Building the R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. IES managed all imperatives of the Materials Petals for this building, which is open and currently in its performance period.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) named the Kern Center at Hampshire College a winners of its Committee on the Environment (COTE) 2017 Top Ten Awards. This award honors buildings that “highlight projects that exemplify the integration of great design and great performance.” For this project  (more…)

MASS Live / April 15, 2016 / Dave Roback

Hampshire designed the building with the goal of becoming only the ninth building worldwide certified under the most advanced green building standard, the Living Building Challenge (LBC). The standard aims to break society’s dependence on environmentally harmful practices, to protect not only the
environment but also the workers who make the building materials, the tradespeople who install them, and the people who use the building. It aims to compel improvements in the building and construction sector.

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Greener Than Green: The Class of 1966 Environmental Center is working to meet the Living Building Challenge / Williams Magazine / Summer 2015

“In fact, it’s possible Williams won’t meet the standards initially. “LBC is a learning process as much as it’s about living within our means,” says Mike Evans, assistant director of the Zilkha Center. “There are risks involved, but we’ll learn from our mistakes, make adjustments and, if need be, start the clock

It’s a risk worth taking, says Charley Stevenson ’93, who, as principal of the Williamstown consulting firm Integrated Eco Strategy, worked closely with the college and Black River Design Architects on the project and was named a 2015 Living Building Challenge Hero in April. “I think it’s really important from a leadership perspective,” he says. “What Williams does, other institutions take note of.””

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