a ”green”house for environmental science

Recognition is very seldom the motivation for doing a building   project. However, a little recognition never hurt.

CarrHall1

CarrHall2

Environmental science students did not have a dedicated home   on the Allegheny College campus which was the impetus for the $5.6M renovation   of Carr Hall. Now home to Physics and the new Richard C. Cook Center for   Environmental Studies, the renovated Carr Hall is a LEED certified, green   building icon on campus.

In recognition of the quality of the renovation effort, Carr   Hall at Allegheny College was award the Excellence Award at the Master   Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania’s Construction Industry Evening   of Excellence held at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on February 28, 2013. Working   with a design/build team that included Massaro Corporation, Perfido, Weiskopf,   Wagstaff + Goettel Architects, Tower Engineering, and sculptor Jan Loney, Derck   & Edson created plans for the Living Wall, interiorscape including an aquaponics   facility, and the exterior landscape highlighted by four vertical European Hops   vines.

The building houses more than 100 environmental science   majors and does so with innovative and environmentally sound design elements,   including lighting,   air quality,   stormwater management, and both interior and exterior plantings. The interior   landscape plan includes a succulent garden, a research and development garden   for edibles, an aquaponics demonstration area, and the Living Wall. Outside,   the landscape includes a variety of herbaceous plants with a focus on   indigenous plants of northwest Pennsylvania. Additionally, stainless steel   trellises were fixed to the four support columns of the entry plaza and a hardy   species of European Hops was planted. The flowers from the Hops will be   harvested for a class dedicated to brewing.

The project continues to grow and expand its environmental   mission through a substantial production garden to be located adjacent to the   building. Food produced in the raised garden plots will be distributed through   an agreement with Parkhurst Dining, the on-campus food service contractor. The   goal is to bring sustainable farm-to-table agriculture to the students and make   enough money to operate the garden on an annual basis.