LEED BD+C: New Construction v3 - LEED 2009
Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Associat
Hopewell, NJ 08525
LEED Platinum 2015
This new environmental center, at the heart of an 84-acre preserve, provides administrative space and exhibition facilities as a portal to the ecology of this central New Jersey Site. In addition to offices and interactive gallery space, the facility includes classrooms, a laboratory, conference rooms, a gift shop, and support space. A free-standing butterfly pavilion helps frame a gateway to the interior of the site.
The site of the Center, on a historic farmstead, creates a hub for the trails that radiate out into the naturalistic and agrarian landscape. The Watershed's mission includes stewardship of the land, advocacy, education, and research on water related environmental issues. And as a significant part of advocacy, it considers modeling sustainable building strategies and promoting knowledge an essential part of its program.
The geometry of the new building incorporates an existing house and forms a central garden courtyard. The building entry is prominent in this naturalistic garden, as is a series of features intended to convey the role of water and the hydrological cycle. These include an evacuated tube solar hot water array, used as a sunscreen, a linear green roof, a rain garden, and an elaborated roof scupper that focuses a cascade of water on locally quarried stone. This last feature makes visible the impact of precipitation, surface runoff, and recharge, and reiterates the mountain and valley topography of this landscape. Other water features include rain water harvesting tanks, bioswales, a constructed wetland wastewater treatment system, and a geothermal system. Water throughout the complex is monitored and depicted in educational exhibits.
The platinum certified building features on site renewable energy with a roof mounted solar array and electric heat pump system. The Center is expected to be close to energy net zero performance. It received five out of five credits for innovation in design and 31 of 35 credits in Energy and Atmosphere. Its materials include FSC certified wood, cypress siding, exposed aggregate concrete, and cellulose insulation.
The interior of the building has been carefully modeled for daylight performance, with windows placed in clerestory and north locations to naturally light galleries, classrooms, and laboratory. The main exhibition wall frames a view of the historic farmstead, while the north-facing exhibit space, classrooms, and laboratory overlook a rain garden, meadow, and woodland. The interactive exhibits feature flora and fauna of the local habitat.