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!
Phase One of Babcock Ranch, FL is slated to open next year.
It’s pretty exciting to see that a whole community will be powered by the sun and what better place than Florida. Per EcoBuildingPulse,com, in 2006, developer Syd Kitson released plans for Babcock Ranch, a massive community to consist of 19,500 homes powered exclusively by the sun (but void of any unsightly solar systems on roofs).
Instead of individual PV panels, the community and the broader region will be supplied with solar energy via Florida Power and Light’s 74.5 megawatt Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center. Expected to be operational by the end of the year, the 443-acre solar power plant will be located in the Babcock Ranch and will supply more than enough energy to meet residents’ needs, according to project planners.
“Babcock Ranch will exemplify what it means to be a town of the future, offering residents a highly unique balance of the most technologically advanced infrastructure and amenities, with ready access to a rich natural environment and a true sense of community,” says Kitson, CEO of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based development firm Kitson & Partners.
Phase 1 development encompasses 1,100 single-family and multifamily residences and a downtown area with a wellness center, café, restaurant, and outdoor outfitter shop.
For more information check out Builderonline.com. We’ll be on the look out for the development of the town, they should be welcoming their new residents by 2017.
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
Good news for the clean energy industry, as U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend tax credits for solar and wind for another five years. This will give much needed boost to the industry and change the course of how the US deploys energy.
The extension adds an extra 20 gigawatts of solar power— this is more than every panel ever installed in the U.S. prior to 2015, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). This deal is huge it is likely to change the landscape of US renewable energy for the future.
The wind credit will contribute another 19 gigawatts over five years. Combined, the extensions will spur more than $73 billion of investment and supply enough electricity to power 8 million U.S. homes, according to BNEF.
“This is massive,” said Ethan Zindler, head of U.S. policy analysis at BNEF. In the short term, the deal will speed up the shift from fossil fuels more than the global climate deal struck this month in Paris and more than Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan that regulates coal plants, Zindler said.
This is solid boost for the solar and wind industries, the cost of installing has dropped more than 90% since the original tax credits were put in place. Now the industry has 5 consecutive years to hopefully make both solar and wind the cheapest energy in most US states, surpassing natural gas and coal. This is a very positive step in the right direction, it will give us a clear indication of how the markets will react, maybe this is the push we need to make renewables the number one energy source for the US. A good way to start 2016!