Robert Moses State Park Nature Center Energy Modeling, LEED and Green Design

The $7.6 million, 9,500 sf Nature Center replaces the facilities that were heavily damaged in a fire. The new facility has exhibits and classroom areas providing a natural science education for the public, schools and community groups. The project was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification (LEED BD+C: New Construction v2009).

Our team provided building energy modeling, LEED and MEP/FP engineering services. We also provided commissioning services for the project from design through warranty phases.

Because there is no gas service to the site, our team was challenged in the LEED design process to look beyond the obvious choice of electric heat. We modeled four different HVAC systems, with the ground source heat pump system being selected. Modeling was also performed for the building envelope (exterior wall, roof and slab insulation) and skylights.

In addition to the geothermal heat pumps for cooling and heating, green design features include outside air intake and heat recovery, a rainwater reclamation system, outside rain gardens, energy efficient lighting, and sustainable material selection to enhance indoor environmental quality.