At a Glance

Chatham’s new Eden Hall campus is becoming a model of sustainability learning in higher education and features innovative ecological water recycling technologies.

Project Description

When Chatham University was gifted the 388-acre Eden Hall Farm in 2008, they set out to create a model campus with district-scale sustainability as a core focus. Home to the new School of Sustainability and the Environment, the new campus includes an environmental learning lab, initiatives in sustainability and environmental studies, food studies, landscape architecture, and women’s studies.

Biohabitats worked with the team of BNIM, Andropogon Associates, Civil and Engineering Consultants (CEC), and Interface to create the campus master plan. Biohabitats created an extensive water balance for the campus and applied an innovative water infrastructure approach that examined the integration of natural wastewater treatment and rainwater harvesting. Considerations such as nutrient cycling, agricultural linkages, and energy intensity of treatment options were included.

The project has now progressed to the first phases of development, which includes an aquaponics field lab, library/café, dining commons, and residence lodge. Working with Mithun (architect/landscape architect) and CEC, Biohabitats engineered and permitted the advanced natural wastewater treatment systems, which are integrated closely with the learning landscape of the new campus. The high-quality reclaimed effluent is reused to supply 100% of the project’s toilet flushing demand. Any excess unused effluent is slowly and safely dispersed back into the soils through subsurface irrigation systems.

The project earned the 2015 Award of Excellence in Engineering and Science from the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a 2017 AIA Committee on the Environment Top 10 Award.

Details

Bioregion

Ohio River

Physiographic Province

Appalachian Plateaus

Watershed

Connoquenessing Creek

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Water

Owner

Chatham University

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Project Team
  • Mithun (design phase)
  • BNIM (master plan phase)
  • Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (master plan & design phases)
  • Andropogon (master plan phase)