The School of Sustainability and the Environment
Eden Hall Campus Master Plan
About the Master Planning Process for SSE
In January 2011 Chatham University announced that the architectural team of Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell (BNIM) of Kansas City, Mo. and landscape design firm Andropogon Associates of Philadelphia would develop the master plan for Eden Hall Campus. The University received a $750,000 gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation toward both the master plan and the University’s search for the dean of its School of Sustainability and the Environment (SSE), which will eventually be located at the 388–acre Eden Hall Campus. The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), also contributed funds for the master plan. As one of the first schools of sustainability in the United States and one of the country's first university campuses built from the ground up in the 21st century, SSE and Eden Hall Campus will complement the University’s historic 39–acre Shadyside Campus.
The Richland Township Board of Supervisors approved the master plan on June 15, 2011. Development at the Eden Hall Campus was contingent upon the Township’s approval, and development plans for each phase must again be submitted to the Township. The University plans to announce the first proposed development later in 2011.
About BNIMBNIM Architects is a multidisciplinary architecture and design firm founded in 1970 in Kansas City, Missouri. Throughout its history, the firm has remained committed to its local and regional communities while establishing a national presence as an innovator of design methodologies, sustainability and new technologies in architecture, planning and workplace design. BNIM’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the owner, user and surrounding community through a balance of social, economic and environmental concerns.
The firm’s principal and project leader, Robert Berkebile, is also founder of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) National Committee on the Environment, Bob Berkebile and one of the central forces behind a new focus on sustainable building that has influenced thousands of architects and changed the face of green architecture in America. He helped to found both the U.S. Green Building Council and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. His sustainable design and planning projects extend from new developments to several restorative sites including New Orleans and Greensburg, Kan. In 2009 Mr. Berkebile was honored at the 15th annual Heinz Awards for his role in promoting green building design and for his commitment and action towards restoring social, economic and environmental vitality to America's communities through sustainable architecture and planning.
About AndropogonCollaborating with BNIM is the landscape architecture and ecological planning and design firm Andropogon Associates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1975 to pursue an ecological perspective in landscape architecture, planning, and design, Andropogon is one of the leading environmental/sustainable landscape architecture firms in the United States. The firm is committed to the principle of “designing with nature,” creating beautiful and evocative landscapes inspired by the careful observation of natural processes and informed by the best environmental science. At the core of Andropogon’s practice is environmentally–responsible design, which is grounded in a philosophy that respects and builds upon the natural and cultural character of a site.
As one of the firm’s Principals, Jose Alminana, RLA, ASLA, LEED AP, has been widely recognized in both the architectural and landscape architectural communities for his commitment to broadening the scope and expertise of the landscape architecture profession. In addition to his ground-breaking projects, Jose has also been instrumental in the development of professional standards and metrics that place landscape architects at the core of the sustainability movement, most importantly for the Sustainable Sites Initiative, SITESTM. Representative projects include Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, the first LEEDTM Platinum certified school in the country; the Phipps Conservatory Center for Sustainable Landscapes, designed to meet the rigorous criteria of the Living Building Challenge; and the Yale University Sculpture Building and Gallery which achieved LEEDTM Platinum certification and was included in the 2008 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Building List.