Hampshire College


Amherst, MA

Project Scale


Multi-functional learning, teaching, & exhibition space with living building certification.

Colliers Project Leaders provided commissioning services for the R.W. Kern Center, a multi-functional learning, teaching, and exhibition space. The R.W. Kern Center is the point of entry for prospective students and their families into the community. As the home of the admissions office, it also enables tours to start near the center of campus. This building also provides instructional space, serves as a hub to share information about the campus, and highlight Hampshire’s mission. The bookstore was relocated to the building from the first floor of the Johnson Library which opened up almost the entire first floor of the library to be developed as a student learning commons.

The R.W. Kern Center was designed and constructed in accordance with Living Building Certification (LBC), which requires the creation of a net-zero energy, waste, and water building. There are currently fewer than ten LBC Certified buildings in the country, and Hampshire will provide national leadership at the confluence of architectural design and energy and water conservation. The R.W. Kern Center is a proud symbol for Hampshire College, as it serves all of the campus in a variety of ways and stands in the forefront of sustainable building practices.

As commissioning agent, we provided commissioning services in accordance with Hampshire College’s Net Zero goals. We verified that the building’s systems and equipment met the functional needs of the staff and students as well as the goals of the College. We were responsible for multiple reviews of the design documentation, the development of commissioning specifications, construction checklists and performance test procedures, reviews of project submittals, and verification of construction installations and performance/oversight of the functional performance testing process.

Hampshire College RW Kern Center Image 6
Hampshire College RW Kern Center Image 4