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