Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center on AIA Top Ten "Green" List

The Queens Botanical Garden is on my "to visit" list. Last week, their Visitor & Administration Center was named one of the top ten "green" projects of 2008 by the Committee on the Environment (COTE) of the American Institute of Architects (AIA):
In looking to the future, the Garden has propelled itself into the front ranks of its field as the first botanical garden in the country devoted to sustainable environmental stewardship. The goal has been to integrate a beautiful contemporary building into the experience of its varied gardens and landscapes, heightening the visitor experience of the natural environment and conveying the key elements of successful sustainability. A water channel surrounds the building and weaves through the garden, fed by rainwater that cascades off of the sheltering roof canopy.
- Press Release, April 22, 2008, AIA/COTE
The 2008 COTE Top Ten Green Projects program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.
QBG's V&A Center, a LEED Platinum building, officially opened in September 2007 as part of a wide ranging plan to improve sustainability across the Garden:
The Garden’s Master Plan of 2001 launched the Sustainable Landscapes and Buildings Project. As the name implies, the project is much more than buildings. It includes new plants, many of which are native species; bioswales to collect storm water and reduce wear-and-tear on New York City’s combined sewer system; water recycling systems; the new Horticulture/Maintenance Building; the revolutionary Visitor & Administration Center; and the transformation of our existing parking lot into a 125-space parking garden beginning on or around June 2008.
- Sustainable Landscapes & Buildings Project, Queens Botanical Garden
Reusing graywater for flushing toilets reduces the project's potable water consumption by 55%. The building also features waterless urinals and composting toilets. Thanks to extensive bioswales and a green roof on the auditorium, the project manages all stormwater on site. A water channel, fed by rainwater that cascades off the roof canopy, weaves around the building and through the gardens.

The reception building's long, narrow shape is oriented along an east-west axis, allowing daylight to penetrate all interior spaces. An efficient lighting system, daylight dimming, and occupancy sensors reduce energy consumption. Glass doors and windows slide open in temperate weather, providing natural ventilation. The building uses photovoltaic panels and a ground-source heat-pump system to harvest energy on site.

More than 33% of the materials in the building, by cost, were harvested or manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. The project team also preferred materials with high durability, low maintenance requirements, recycled content, low chemical emissions, and Forest Stewardship Council certification.
-Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center, AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects


Sustainable Landscapes & Buildings Project, Queens Botanical Garden
Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center, AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

No comments: