The Environmental Education Center is being designed by architect Jamie Malloy of ImproveConsult LLC, and will be a state-of-the-art facility that will offer research, education and family uses. The building is approximately 12,600 square feet and will feature flexible spaces for display areas, a laboratory, classrooms, storage, kitchen, outdoor viewing platform and offices. It will also serve as a community venue capable of holding events for as many as 400 people.
LEED Platinum Building
In keeping with Newton's place as a green energy innovator, the facility is being designed as a LEED Platinum building. LEED is a national certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage the construction of energy and resource-efficient buildings that are healthy to live in. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED Platinum is the very highest level of LEED certification.
Environmentally Sustainable Construction & Operational Practices
The building’s sustainable design will feature solar panels with a 34 kW photovoltaic array capable of fully operating the building off the grid, geothermal heating and cooling, solar hot water system, passive solar shading, a living roof, a bioswale storm water handling system (Parking Lot), and will be constructed of local and recycled products. The facility itself will serve as an educational tool by demonstrating environmentally sustainable construction and operational practices.