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Deep Dive into Net Zero Water at the R.W. Kern Center

October 15, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

The New England Living Building Collaborative is presenting a series of webinars on how water management, water efficiency and water and energy nexus concepts can be incorporated into project planning, design, construction and operation.

Deep Dive into Net Zero Water at the R.W. Kern Center will focus on the R.W. Kern Center, at Hampshire College in Hampshire MA as a case study. The R.W. Kern Center received Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification, with a very robust means of addressing the LBC’s water petal needs, without connection to the municipal sewer. The Center features a net-positive water system, meaning that 100% of the building’s water is sourced, processed, and managed on site. 



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Meet the Speakers

Sara Draper
Director of Educational Program and Outreach | R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

As the R.W. Kern Center director and self-proclaimed “chief building ambassador” Sara works across campus and beyond to make the most of the educational and influential potential of the RWKC. Through building tours, research partnerships, courses, community events, and outreach to other LBC projects, she showcases the RWKC as a powerhouse of educational innovation and a model for positive environmental change. Sara previously worked as a sustainability strategist at Bruner/Cott, a Cambridge architectural firm, and was part of the R.W. Kern Center project team. She’s an active member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, and with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the Massachusetts Living Building Collaborative.

Christopher Chamberland, P.E.
Principal Civil Engineer | Berkshire Design Group

Mr. Chamberland has nine years of experience in site development, roadway, and utility design for various public and private clients in New England and the New York City area. His past projects include public plazas, subdivisions, municipal roadways, site design for institutional facilities, airports and public transit facilities. His work on a wide variety of civil engineering projects in rural, suburban and urban settings have provided the experience necessary to take on most any design challenge.

Christopher Nielson
Architect | Bruner/Cott

Christopher is passionate about design that respects our building heritage, supports community, and addresses the issues of climate change. As project architect for the Kern Center, Christopher brought project goals and ideas to life, working closely with the rest of the project team to ensure that the rigorous criteria of the Living Building Challenge were met. Christopher regularly speaks at national and regional conferences ranging in topics from net zero water and energy design, and currently serves as a committee member on the Climate Action Protection Committee, the Envision Cambridge Environmental Committee, and recently completed a term on the National Council for Architectural Registration Board’s Strategic Focus committee.

Bruce Douglas, P.E.
Vice President, Business Development | Natural Systems Utilities

Bruce Douglas has over 32 years of experience in integrated water management, specializing in the planning, design, construction, and operation of integrated and onsite wastewater management systems for direct and indirect reuse. He has worked internationally, in the Middle East, Indonesia, and China. Domestically, Mr. Douglas has worked in both the public and private sectors in New England, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Wisconsin, and California. At NSU, Mr. Douglas has lead the New England design-build and operations groups and is currently responsible for business development. He recently played a key role in the establishment of a public-private partnership for a private onsite wastewater treatment facility which will treat wastewater, for indirect reuse, from both private and municipal sources. Mr. Douglas is a registered Professional Engineer and a licensed wastewater treatment plant operator, with a B.S. Degree from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S. degree from the University of Vermont.

Learning Objectives

  1. What is net zero water?
  2. What are the benefits of net zero water to the building owner and user(s)?
  3. How can proactive planning and permitting achieve net zero outcomes in building design?
  4. How net water is integrated in to site and building design?

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Natural Systems Utilities

NSU is a national leader in water reclamation and reuse innovation. We currently operate over 240 systems along with 160 innovative/alternative Title V facilities across the United States, including the largest base of reuse and natural treatment systems. Our approach offers clients fully integrated and cost effective solutions that incorporate award-winning innovations in system design. NSU has built the unique capability to structure a full range of design, build, operations and ownership project solutions. Our reputation has been built on best in class execution capability,  and on long term shared-value partnerships with the people and communities we serve. Learn more about Natural Systems Utilities here.

R.W. Kern Center

The R.W. Kern Center is the 17th certified Living Building in the world, an embodiment of Hampshire’s values in practice and ideas in action. It meets the stringent requirements of the world’s most advanced green building standard, the Living Building Challenge: it generates its own electricity, collects and treats its own water, and is built with local, non-toxic, and low-carbon materials. The 17,000-sq-ft building is a major piece of Hampshire’s broad sustainability initiatives to make campus operations carbon neutral. This multi-functional building also serves as a living laboratory where students and the public study its innovative systems and performance. Learn more about the R.W. Kern Center here.


Important information: when ordering a package deal, it may take a few days to receive admission information for the courses included in the package. We thank you for your patience.

Become a Built Environment Plus Member to save an additional 15% on your registration! Become a member through Joinit then follow the on-boarding instructions to learn how to use your discount.


Are you experiencing financial hardship and may have difficulty affording the course tuition? We have a limited number of scholarships available. Please fill out the scholarship application and we will get back to you as soon as possible about your eligibility.


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