Chatham University Alum Rachel Carson’s Legacy Lives on at Eden Hall, Falk School of Sustainability
Located on 338 acres just north of Pittsburgh in Richland, Pennsylvania, Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus is the first academic community in the world built from the ground up for the study of next-generation tools and processes that will provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to the world. Based in Pittsburgh, Chatham University channeled alumna and environmentalist Rachel Carson in creating a campus and curriculum that embodies Chatham’s commitment to sustainability and environmental education.
Using the latest in environmentally responsible technology, design, and innovation, Chatham’s Eden Hall campus strives to be self-sustaining in every way with a goal of zero net carbon emissions, with all waste and stormwater managed on-site, while aiming to produce more energy than it consumes through extensive use of solar and geothermal energy. Eden Hall is home to Chatham’s Falk School of Sustainability & Environment, and its undergraduate and graduate programs in sustainability, food studies and dual-degree MBA programs.
In April 2017, Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus was awarded the American Institute of Architects and the Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Award.
Sustainable technologies and methods applied on Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus include:
- Rain gardens, gravel walkways, and a rainwater harvesting system to manage stormwater. The Eden Hall campus also treats wastewater onsite through a six-step process that mimics nature.
- Solar panels to generate 126,000 kilowatt hours annually, enough to power 14 homes for a year. In addition, Eden Hall’s weather station collects data on solar radiation, air temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and leaf wetness. Soil sensors are installed nearby to collect data on parameters including volumetric water content and electrical conductivity.
- Function as a living, learning campus that models building standards, energy management techniques, and new ways of sustainable living.
- A working agricultural campus scale classroom that allows students to explore critical relationships between food, land, the environment, access, and culture. The campus encompasses a fully certified organic farm, garden, and greenhouses. Initiatives include nutrient recycling and soil building from compost, aquaponics, mushroom farming, and edible landscaping around buildings. In addition, the Eden Hall farm connects to the local community through farm-to-school programs and partnerships with local farmers and nonprofits.
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