Williams College, Center for Development Economics Residence Hall

  • View from back of Residence

  • View from Mohawk Trail

education & residential & sustainability

Williams College, Center for Development Economics Residence Hall

This new 2-story residence hall is the first Net Zero Energy building on the Williams campus and shares a site with the historic Stanford White designed Center for Development Economics academic building.

The form and materials of the dormitory reflect the historic character of the CDE, taking their cue from its angular geometry, vertical turret windows and light-colored masonry. The new building is designed with two distinct wings which are vertically offset to respond to the sloping site. Along with the CDE, the wings define a partially enclosed courtyard creating a mini-campus with the CDE.

The wings face north-south to minimize solar heat gain. The envelope is super-insulated and designed to rigorous Passive House standards. Generously proportioned windows are triple glazed affording views of the CDE and surrounding landscape which includes rain gardens for storm water management. Geothermal wells provide heating and cooling while a roof mounted photovoltaic array powers all systems. The 30 bedrooms are organized in pairs with a shared vestibule and bathroom. Each room is equipped with LED lighting, occupancy sensors, efficient valence units and sustainable materials are used throughout. Bright, open communal areas located between the wings are designed with lively colors to complement the scale and privacy of the individual units. Deep roof overhangs and exterior sunshades over south facing windows provide shade in the summer while welcoming in winter sunshine. A sitting wall and canopy at the entry create a transition between the interior and the landscaped courtyard.


Williams College


Williamstown, MA

Date Completed


Sustainable Design

Zero Net Energy