- Geothermal technology uses the consistent temperature of the earth to warm the air during winter and cool the air during the summer.
- Solar energy collection tubes harness the power of the sun to provide
domestic hot water year-round and
augment the geothermal heating in
the winter. Solar energy also provides
cooling assistance via fin-tube radiators
around the wind towers. The hot water
in these radiators induces a draft to pull cool air produced by the geothermal system through the building on warm
- Composting toilets, based on one of nature’s most basic principles—organic decomposition—use only three ounces of water plus a biocompatible soap in each flush (most toilets use a minimum of 1.5 gallons). Over 90% of the waste material that goes into the basement composting chamber will break down into water vapor and carbon dioxide vented outside.
- Over the new addition to the
building, a “green roof” of indigenous plants reuses water and reduces heat
absorption to keep the building cooler.
- A specially engineered permeable parking lot allows rainwater to be filtered into the soil below.
- Natural vegetation in the bioretention pond filters other run-off water from the property before it returns to the watershed.
- Electricity is purchased through a
program that supports the development
of clean and sustainable energy in New York State.
- “Green dashboard” technology for
real-time monitoring of the building’s
environmental performance is planned for monitoring energy use, either on site or via the Internet.
The Center for Environmental Innovation and Education
M-Th, Sat-Sun 10am - 3pm
Public programs in 2011 at CEIE are made possible in part with the generous support of:
The Wachovia/Wells Fargo Foundation
M&T Bank Foundation
Partners of Sedore & Company
Jeannette F. Schlobach Trust
Beacon Institute's first facility at the Denning's Point campus, the Center for Environmental Innovation and Education (CEIE), is a model of green design that is reusing a mostly undeveloped and abandoned industrial building from the former Denning's Point Brick Works. This adaptive reuse of an existing late-nineteenth century brick structure launches a new beginning for historic Denning's Point State Park.
The CEIE is the vanguard for the Institute's larger campus at Denning's Point, which will include The Center for Advanced Environmental Research (CAER). The CEIE is the first home to the REON project and the Institute’s educational programs, policy initiatives and technology workshops. It is also a welcoming Visitor Center for Denning's Point State Park.
Equipped with surround-sound videoconferencing, broadcasting and simulcasting capabilities, as well as a THX sound system and professional theatrical lighting, the CEIE’s flexible spaces can be reconfigured for multiple uses, including seminars, workshops, exhibits, public forums and cultural and social events.
Planned educational programming
in the CEIE will support SENSE IT teacher development programs, as
well as formal and informal learning
opportunities that build on real-time
raleigh search engine data from the REON initiative.
Historical, ecological and cultural
programming is enhanced by public
access to river and walking trails.
A Model of Green Design
Designed by Gensler, a leading global
design firm, the 4,000 square foot CEIE is
an adaptive restoration of an abandoned
late 19th century industrial building that
manifests the Institute’s commitment to
energy efficient systems, sustainability
and green building technology.
The building’s design connects the
Institute to the surrounding historical landscape, incorporating a host of sustainable strategies that have
positioned the SEO CEIE for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Both the adaptive reuse of the handsome older brick portion, and the new attached annex were handled with great sensitivity. The annex is designed with a contemporary lightness, with large glass areas for viewing the surrounding river and forest vistas. The contrast between the two building elements emphasizes and illuminates the beauty of each. The design is respectful: it honors the building's industrial past, while emphasizing the Institute's contemporary mission.
Louis P. Ciminelli, Chair of the New York Power Authority, says, "Just as [Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries] will showcase New York's natural resources, the buildings housing the Center will showcase the Empire State's leadership in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies."