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.
It is exciting to see that a museum was chosen as one of the 2016 AIA COTE top ten green projects of the year! Check out the specs via AIA below.
From the AIA:
The Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA, is an interactive science museum that also demonstrates innovation and sustainability in its design and construction. The building takes advantage of the historic pier shed’s natural lighting and the 800’ long roof provided room for a 1.3 megawatt photovoltaic array. The water of the Bay is used for cooling and heating. Materials were used that that are both sustainable and durable enough to withstand a harsh maritime climate. The project is certified LEED Platinum and is close to reaching its goal of being the country’s largest Net Zero energy museum and an industry model for what’s possible in contemporary museums.
BY THE NUMBERS:
- Estimated percent of occupants using public transit, cycling or walking: 47%
- Daylighting at levels that allow lights to be off during daylight hours: 50%
- Lighting Power Density: 0.78 watts/sf
- Views to the Outdoors: 75%
- Percent reduction of regulated potable water: 50%
- Total EUI predicted (kBtu/sf/yr): 42
- Net EUI predicted (kBtu/sf/yr): 6
- Percent reduction from National Median EUI for Building Type (predicted): 92%
Photo Credit: Bruce Damonte Photography
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.
A couple months back I attended a NYSERDA CHP (Combined Heat & Power) Expo in NYC. All the companies were vetted by NYSERDA and able to provide concrete energy management solutions with CHP systems. I, of course, spoke to all the companies and sought out those who had previously worked with museums, one company stood out: ENER-G. Originally a British company with global offices, plus a local office in NYC, they provide organizations across the globe with energy management services, sustainable technologies and renewable energy solutions, to help them intelligently generate, buy and manage energy.
Back in 2010-2011 ENER-G installed four new CHP units for, at the new (at the time) Museum of Liverpool, which guaranteed annual savings of more than $750,0000. “And the ‘trigeneration’ technology, which created highly efficient heat, electricity and cooling, also reduced carbon emissions by 884 tons each year – equivalent to the environmental benefit of taking 295 cars off the road.” Pretty impressive!
What’s even more interesting is that ENER-G was commissioned by National Museums Liverpool, the group responsible for all the diverse museums in Liverpool to design and install the new CHP system at the Mann Island site – part of the famous Pier Head at the core of the World Heritage Site on Liverpool’s famous waterfront. And ENER-G will solely operate and maintain the plant for 17 years. The actual CHP system was split between a faciliteis room in the Museum of Liverpool and the historic Great Western Railwlay (GWR) Goods Shed on Liverpool’s waterfront. “ENER-G converted the Goods Shed into a state-of-the-art energy center with sophisticated remote monitoring and diagnostic facilities. When designing and building GWR ENER-G had to adhere to planning conditions and design the energy center to operate independently of the utility electrical supply.”
Now to explain a little more about how the CHP or cogeneration system works. It generates electricity and recovers and reuses the majority of the heat created in the process. In conventional power stations this heat is simply wasted into the atmosphere through power station cooling towers and along the miles of electrical distribution cables needed to bring the power to site. Instead, by using CHP to generate electricity on site the heat is used to provide heating and hot water for the museum in the winter, and air conditioning and chilled water via the absorption cooling system in the summer months. The utility grid supply will provide additional back up, if required. Using a system like this automatically sets your institution up for major energy and financial savings.
The Museum of Liverpool are also able to use the GWR Building housing the CHP plant for an educational resource in its own right. As it has a small visitor facility where groups can gain an understanding of the technology and its contribution to the museum’s sustainability. Not only was the museum able to drastically reduce their energy consumption, but they also gained a teaching tool for others to learn and follow in their footsteps.
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.”