Oberlin College: Center for Environmental Studies


with William McDonough + Partners

This award winning design for the 13,600 SF Lewis Center at Oberlin College embodies the concept of a “building like a tree”: the facility produces its own energy through photovoltaic panels and, like a tree, where waste becomes food, solid waste from the building is treated in a solar aquatic treatment facility which uses natural systems to break down the waste turning it into healthy soil.
The building is a teaching tool. Extensive energy monitoring allows students to track the building’s energy use and to test water quality as the solid waste moves through treatment facility.

  • Top Ten Green Buildings, AIA Committee on the Environment 2002
  • Honor Award, AIA Committee on Architecture and Education, 1999
  • LEED Pilot