Project Profile: Tyson Living Learning Center, Eureka, MO

The Tyson Living Learning Center is located just west of St. Louis near Eureka, Missouri. Construction of this $1.5 million project began in December 2008 and was completed in May 2009. Washington University in St. Louis oversees The Living Learning Center, which sits amid Tyson Research Center, an environmental field station used year-round by graduate and undergraduate students involved in environmental studies.

“Green” influences dominated construction, as many eco-philosophies were implemented on the building, as well as to the site itself. For example, all interior finish wood was harvested on-site. The old, degraded asphalt parking lot was transformed into a landscaped garden complete with porous concrete, local stone pavers and a central rain garden. Clean water is provided to the site by a chemical-free rainwater harvesting system. Other waters, such as “grey” water generated by domestic activities and “black” water from lavatories are treated or composted, effectively eliminating the concept of waste.

As for windows, Quaker’s K300 Series windows were the choice. Specially glazed for improved energy-efficiency, thermally-broken main frame for less thermal transfer, no grids for increased solar heat gain values, and all made up of approximately 40% recycled aluminum and 20% recycled glass. Once completed, The Tyson Living Learning Center achieved its ultimate goal of certification by the Living Building Challenge, a progressive program designed by the International Living Future Institute to promote environmental and social responsibilities.