As the Greece Post reports, The Rochester Museum and Science Center campus is now undergoing a huge sustainability demonstration project called the Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase, set to be completed by the end of the summer.
The new RMSC campus will feature areas to explore green infrastructure and sustainability, including rain gardens and interactive displays. The Environmental Facilities Corporation awarded $525,000 for the installation of a new porous pavement parking lot and bioretention areas on campus to decrease and treat stormwater runoff. The bioretention areas capture and filter stormwater runoff from roadways and parking lots and water several low-maintenance native species plants, many of which are adaptable to high volumes of water.
“We at the RMSC care deeply about our local watershed and are taking action to protect it by creating new landscape campus features,” said Kate Bennett, RMSC president. “One responsibility as the community’s museum is to demonstrate options that create a sustainable future for our region and our ecology.”
Guests will be able to participate in green infrastructure workshops at a learning pavilion. The pavilion includes a green roof complete with plants and a water harvest collection area that captures roof runoff.
Courtesy of RMSC
The stormwater runoff process will be showcased in an artistic educational glass design called “Genesee River Watershed,” created by local artist Nancy Gong and sponsored by the RMSC Women’s Council. The art glass will divert water from the pavilion roof to a rain garden. In another exhibit area, downspouts will transfer water from roofs to rain barrels. A treadle pump, a human-powered suction pump, will offer guests an opportunity for physical activity in understanding the irrigation process. Other areas with porous pavers and concrete will reduce runoff and winter salting requirements. For every tree that was removed during construction, two new ones will be planted on the campus.
RMSC exhibition components include a rain garden puppet theater, explanations on how porous pavements works and various interactions with the Water Education Collaborative’s H2O Hero. RMSC’s new campus will be incorporated into the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County’s ongoing series of Green Infrastructure Trainings and Workshops, as a green infrastructure tour stop and as a location for workshops.
Also, Rochester Institute of Technology students are including the campus transformation as their environmental science senior capstone with the objectives of designing and implementing a monitoring plan to establish the effectiveness of the various green infrastructure areas and to provide scientific information to support exhibit development.
Here is a recap of the PIC Green Events at AAM 2016 Conference and Expo. First, all the events and sessions were an overwhelming success! So, it shows there is a definite growing interest to learn how to make your institution more sustainable.
We had the following sessions:
1. Energy Efficient Cold Storage
2. Future Choices – Best Practices for Profession
3. Environmental Sustainability – Power, Influence and Responsibility
4. Stages of Sustainability
5. Sustainability Sins
Our winners for the SEA (Sustainability Excellence Awards) for the following categories: Facilities, Programs and Exhibits were as follows:
- Large Museums, Facilities: Exploratorium Pier 15/17, San Francisco, CA
- Small Museum, Facilities: The Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, MN
- Large Museum, Programs: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago Academy of Sciences, Chicago, IL
- Large Museum, Exhibits: San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, CA
- Honorable Mentions, Exhibits: DesertSol at Springs Preserve, NV
- Honorable Mentions, Programs: PROBEA, Smart Schools, Baja Peninsula, CA
And the field trip to the US Botanic Garden was educational and bursting with sustainable initiatives, we even received our very own instruction manual for teaching. Check out the Sustainable SITES Initiative!
The Expo had a few highlights, but I have to mention the Virtual Reality Booth by SimWave Consulting in Canada. If you are an interactive museum, then you are going to want to keep an eye on their technology.
And a huge thank you to the Natural History Museum for letting us use their booth and partnering up in many ways moving forward!
Until next year in St. Louis…..keep up the green momentum!
This year GreenBuild took place on the hill in DC. If you wanted to learn the latest about sustainable building it was the place to be! It featured three jam-packed days of top speakers, endless networking opportunities, showcases, LEED workshops and in-depth tours of green buildings in Washington, DC.
Here’s a short recap from BuildingGreen of the best 10 products, technologies and cutting edge ideas. They all can be pretty technical, but I am partial to the last one, USAI Lighting Color Select Tunable Lighting. This kind of controllable lighting could be a key option for museum collections requiring a special spectrum of light. Be on the look out for them!
- Johns Manville ENRGY 3.E Halogen-Free Polyiso Insulation
Johns Manville is the first manufacturer to sell a polyisocyanurate roofing insulation not containing TCPP, or Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, the halogenated flame retardant used in polyiso and spray foam.
- Organic Furnishings from Ekla Home
These furnishings are made from natural latex and do not require chemical flame retardants.
- KI Chair with AirCarbon Plastic
The materials that go into the KI Chair come from agriculturally-sourced methane rather than petroleum, which makes the chair carbon-negative.
- FocalPoint Bioretention System
This filtration systems provides the performance of natural storm water filtration on a very small footprint.
- Multistack Magnetic Levitation Chillers with Danfoss Compressors
These chillers cool offices, schools, and large commercial buildings; they are energy-efficient and eliminate the need for mechanical seals, gears, pumps, and many other conventional components.
- Fluid-Applied Cat 5 Air Barrier System from Prosoco
The parts that make up these air barriers are based on the high-performance “hybrid” polymer chemistry, which lacks solvents and isocyanates; in addition, the removal of phthalate plasticizers makes them eligible for use in Living Building Challenge Products.
- Clean Energy Collective
The collective develops locally-sited photovoltaic facilities across the U.S. and engages with local utilities so that local people can purchase and own PV panels within a shared array.
- Cascadia Clip Thermal Spacers
The Cascadia Clip offers support for cladding over insulation, and it decreases thermal bridging more effectively than conventional methods.
- Marvin Windows with U.S. Passive House Certification
Marvin Windows is the first major American window manufacturer to issue a Passive House Institute U.S.-certified window. These windows are available with FSC-certified wood.
- USAI Lighting Color Select Tunable Lighting
This product blends the efficacy of LEDs with the ability to provide users complete control over the color and intensity of their interior lighting.
For for information check out the full article at BuildingGreen.
In preparation for BE NYC 2015, NESEA, The German American Chamber of Commerce, collaborated with the German Consulate General in New York and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce to host a panel discussion and networking reception focusing on energy efficiency solutions and green building technologies made in Germany.
The panel discussion focused on passive house and how German energy efficient technologies are finally coming to the US.
Yetsuh Frank from BE Exchange spoke on passive house technologies and the benefits plus challenges of NYC adopting those standards to meet the 2050 challenge Mayor De Blasio has put forward. In the long run passive house is about “investing in long life components, ” and NYC will need to slowly start rolling passive house technology into present green building codes to come anywhere close to the new projected goals. Next up was Douglas Romines from Romines Architecture, he highlighted how his experience working in Germany helped pave the way for earlier energy efficiency adoption in NYC buildings like the new Staten Island Ferry Terminal.
The last 3 speakers were German based companies who will be exhibiting their products at the NESEA Expo. There was Eco2heat, who make ingenious infrared heating panels for residential and commercial use. The panels are safe, emission free, super efficient and effective plus provide instant heat in an elegant way. They beat all US radiator or baseboard heater any day! Second was Alumthermic, who are specialists for insulation of thermally decoupled aluminum window profiles and facades. And third was Menck Windows, originally a German company but they now have a new presence in Chicopee, MA. They manufacture top notch, finely crafted, energy efficient windows to the US market.
All in all, an interesting panel, (the infrared panels were definitely my favorite) and a great kick off to BE NYC 2015.
This is super exciting news to me, I know a bit nerdy! I’ve been a Green Mountain Energy customer for about 8 years and thoroughly support everything they do, so finding out that they were able to partner up with the Philadelphia Zoo on solar golf carts…very cool.
The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club donates to many projects that “enhance the quality of life through long-term, sustainable solutions that focus on people and the planet.” Recently, the Philadelphia Zoo was the proud recipient of $100,000 to be dedicated to increasing it’s already existing sustainability initiatives. The money was chosen to fund solar golf carts, which will immensely help zoo employees to get around the 42-acre park in much less time and more efficiently. Each solar-powered golf cart can generate enough clean energy to drive more than 1,600 miles annually. That’s a lot of miles around the park!
As the nation’s first zoo, Philadelphia is doing a tremendous job creating and implementing onsite operational sustainability measures. “With more than 1.35 million visitors annually, they aim to educate their community, model sustainable practices and provide their visitors with tools for taking action to live greener in their own lives, empowered to make a difference.” Presently the Zoo is working toward strategies to lessen their environmental footprint in five key areas:
1) improve energy efficiency
2) reduce, and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
3) consistently conserve, and increasingly collect and reuse water
4) Use current best practices to manage stormwater on site and
5) conserve resources and avoid the use of hazardous materials through waste diversion and green purchasing.
This is very commendable, as we all know thoughtful zoos require an enormous amount of people’s energy and mechanical energy to run. It’s more than important to keep the animals healthy, it’s an utmost necessity!
Also if you’re in Philadelphia any time soon, right now they also have a unique exhibit called Second Nature, Junk Rethunk, which is “an array of artist installations, some larger than life, each one telling stories of endangered animals through the use of recycled, reduced, reused, repurposed and renewed materials.”