The Potomac Watershed Study Center is a series of Living Buildings at Hard Bargain Farm, a renowned environmental education center on a 100-acre site along the Potomac River. This project advances the notion of a Living Building by considering what it means to be a Living Campus. Rather than working independently, the structures are designed to work together to achieve net-zero energy and water targets. The symbiotic buildings include a 3,000 sf multi-purpose day use building, a 7,000 sf dormitory building with classrooms, two sleeping cabins, and a wetlands boardwalk. A highly collaborative process with an integrated design charrette was used to engage staff and stakeholders in the design of the project – from site placement to building design concepts and key educational aspects of the facilities. Working closely with the client on funding and regulatory hurdles (including treated rainwater for all water uses), the team has been an active partner with the foundation to bring this project from a concept in 2006 to the start of construction in 2013.
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