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Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun

Visitors learn about energy and water conservation as they climb outdoor staircases that lead from the forest floor to the 125-foot-high rooftop rising above the leaf canopy. Photo by Joe Fletcher. Image courtesy of Joe Fletcher.

Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun
Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun
Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun
Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun
Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun
Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun
Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun
Educational Center for the Boy Scouts of America By Architecture firm Mithun

In 2013, the Boy Scouts of America made conservation a stronger focus of the organization by introducing a new sustainability merit badge and opening an educational center in the 10,600-acre Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. Using the Living Building Challenge as a guide (a rigorous set of construction standards similar to LEED), Seattle-based architecture firm Mithun spearheaded a multidisciplinary team to create a tree house that would turn lessons into an adventure. Sited on a former coal mine, the building features a locally made prefabricated steel megastructure, FSC-certified black locust wood housing, a photovoltaic array, a wind turbine, and a rainwater catchment system. Visitors learn about energy and water conservation as they climb outdoor staircases that lead from the forest floor to the 125-foot-high rooftop rising above the leaf canopy. Brendan Connolly, a partner at Mithun, takes pride in the architectural promenade: “The experience of moving through the trees was more powerful than we imagined,” he says. Source: Dwell.com

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