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Washington University- Tyson Living Learning Center

Location: St. Louis, MO

Size: 2,968 SF


Living Building Challenge

Website: Tyson Living Learning Ctr.

Facebook: Tyson Living Learning Ctr.

Project Info:

The Living Learning Center is a 2,900 SF research and classroom facility located at the Washington University Tyson Research Center, a 2,000 acre forested biology research site in Eureka, MO. The building houses a large multi-purpose classroom, a computer lab, office space, and a large outdoor deck creating an indoor/outdoor classroom space.

The Tyson LLC is one of the world's first Living Buildings to be certified through the International Living Building Institute. Two of the main prerequisites for this certification are net-zero energy and net-zero water. Net-zero energy is being achieved by reducing the building’s energy load and through the use of a grid-tied photovoltaic system. Operable windows and fans create cross ventilation which greatly reduces the energy load required by the HVAC system. Net zero water use is being achieved by collecting rainwater and treating it non-chemically for potable water use as well as eliminating water use by introducing composting toilets.

In addition, LBC requires that all materials must be local or regionally (based upon the density of the material) and all wood used must be sustainably harvested. All of the framing lumber is FSC certified and all finish wood has been harvested from Tyson’s site as part of a restoration plan or taken from trees that were fallen, dead, or dying. The exterior of the building is clad in eastern red cedar siding and the interior features maple, walnut, ash, oak, and hickory wood.

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