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The Center for Environmental Innovation and Education

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."


Photography copyright 2008 Beacon Institute/Gensler.  Unauthorized use is prohibited.


View CEIE Construction Photos