Robbins Park Center for Environmental Education

Ambler, Pennsylvania

Living Building Challenge Learning Lab in an Ecological Preserve

In three words:

Living Building,
Student Collaboration

As part of a Green Building United volunteer initiative, Re:Vision has been collaborating with teachers at Upper Dublin High School to pilot the first Environmental Science Project-Based Learning Course built on the green building philosophy of the Living Building Challenge.

The project at the center of the course was a transformation of the Robbins Park Environmental Center, a 40 year old learning lab for the Upper Dublin School District, into a new Living Building.  Re:Vision’s volunteers worked with the class throughout two school years to steer their research, design, and presentations to project stakeholders and the larger community.

Picking up where the students left off, Re:Vision is now continuing the development of the actual design of the project to make it a reality.


Fast Facts

Engaged 40+ students in the PBL courses and 400+ students in the full Environmental Science curriculum

Over 50 green building professional volunteers engaged in the coursework

Design for Living Building Challenge Certification

Net-positive energy with roof-top and ground mounted solar panels

Rainwater harvesting with demonstration cistern

Sho-sugi ban (charred for preservation) regionally sourced oak siding

Low-embodied carbon materials throughout including wood timber structure

Wetland restoration with interpretive boardwalk trail

The building and site are designed as hands-on educational tools

“Our goal in investing in Living Building Challenge is so that we could truly walk the talk. It’s also to share what we have learned every day with the students that we serve who get to see this building in action. Even if your home isn’t a green building like this, it doesn’t mean that you can’t apply the principles of low water usage, or be conscious of your electricity usage, or think about composting and waste reduction through recycling. ”

– Lisa Fantini, Executive Director Robbins Park Environmental Education Center
Erin Loch, Environmental PBL Instructor

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