Hotchkiss Biomass Named to ArchDaily Top 100

CENTERBROOK, Conn. – Readers of ArchDaily have named Centerbrook Architects and Planner's Hotchkiss School Biomass Facility design as one of the Top 100 most important works of architecture in the United States.

The Top 100 compilation is the first-ever for ArchDaily, the world’s most visited architecture website.

This marks the sixth time that the building, which opened in 2014, has been recognized for its innovative design and environmental features. Serving as the central heating facility for the Hotchkiss School, an independent boarding school in Lakeville, Connecticut, it is one of only three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified plants in the country.

“A power plant is an unlikely candidate for such a national recognition, but obviously it has resonated with the public and that makes us very proud,” said the project’s lead architect, Centerbrook partner Jefferson Riley, FAIA. “Hotchkiss challenged us to design a facility that was at once an iconic building showcasing the commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, and a deferential building that merges with its natural setting. This recognition tells us that both goals were met.”

Two boiler units in the facility burn waste wood harvested from local forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This fuel source is considered carbon neutral by the International Panel on Climate Change. Its undulating, sloped green roof of sedum blends with its rural environs and absorbs rainwater. A bioswale system filters excess runoff from the vegetated roof before returning it to the ground.

The Biomass Facility is one of four green buildings on the northwestern Connecticut campus, which has a goal of becoming entirely carbon neutral by 2020. Centerbrook also designed the LEED-certified Esther Eastman Music Center, itself a recipient of six design awards.