COVID-19 and Sustainability

UPDATED 5/13/21 For the past year plus, staff and faculty across the college have been working on the innumerable pivots necessary to ensure that the college could still operate.  The Zilkha Center has been working with our colleagues to support sustainable operations and has also been… Continue reading »

Williams Inn and Bookstore self-guided sustainability tours

CambridgeSeven, the architecture firm behind the design of the new Williams Inn and the Williams Bookstore, has released a self-guided sustainability tour that features highlights of the buildings intended to increase efficiency and reduce energy costs. The firm kept stormwater design, local materials, and solar energy in mind while designing… Continue reading »

Update on ’66 Center solar panel construction

Wondering about the impressively deep hole being dug next to the Class of 1966 Environmental Center? Well, it turns out that this construction is necessary in order to install six (6) pole-mounted solar photovoltaic arrays! The new solar arrays are thanks to the Envi Center’s efforts to complete… Continue reading »

Report on College Building

Do you have questions about how the college thinks about building? Like: How does it decide if and when to build?  What makes one building project happen before another? And how does the college pay for it all? If so, please read the Report on Building, now available on… Continue reading »

Envi Center Achieves Petal Certification for Living Building Challenge

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., May 22, 2017—The Class of 1966 Environmental Center has achieved Petal Certification, meeting six of the seven environmental performance criteria for the Living Building Challenge (LBC). Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives Director Amy Johns ’98 accepted the building’s Petal Certification at the Living Future Conference in Seattle,… Continue reading »

NESEA Pro Tour of the Envi Center

David Dethier shows visitors the kitchen table made from interior wallboards from the original building. On Friday April 21st, members of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association came to campus to learn more about the Class of 1966 Environmental Center. This visit was part of NESEA’s Pro Tour Series,… Continue reading »

How should we reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

How should we reduce greenhouse gas emissions?  That seems like a pretty simple question on the surface, but dig down and things get complicated quickly. Williams has emissions reduction goals – 35% below 1990 levels by 2020, then carbon neutrality (through the purchase of carbon offsets) by the end of 2020. Continue reading »

Water Update: Class of 1966 Envi Center

The main downspot from the new side of the building that goes down into a WISY filter in a greenhouse which keeps icedams from forming at the base of the gutter. As you may have read in November, the Environmental Center met six of the seven “petal”… Continue reading »

Refuge Restrooms

A few bathrooms on campus are now listed on Refuge Restrooms. Refuge Restrooms collects information to locate ability-accessible and gender-inclusive restrooms. The two bathrooms in the Environmental Center are on the list are well as one in the Thompson Chemistry building.  Read below for more info on each. And… Continue reading »

The New Quad: Looking at Place

During my freshman year at Williams, I sometimes studied in the monkey carrels in old Sawyer basement. The carrels were grimy, but a thick layer of graffiti provided much of their appeal, a distraction from whatever assignment I didn’t want to work on at the moment. Monkey carrels in… Continue reading »

Zilkha Center insulates Oakley Center for the Humanities

In 2013, in partnership with Massachusetts insulation contractors Energía and Cozy Home Performance, the Zilkha Center installed new insulation in the Oakley Center for the Humanities and some faculty rental properties to increase energy efficiency. Most of the new insulation is Cel-Pak cellulose, made from recycled newspaper that has been… Continue reading »