The Science Center

The Center for Science and Education's environmental design features include:

  • A rectangular shape, with the long axis stretched across the landscape's ridgeline, maximizing southern exposure and solar gain.
  • A roof monitor that maximizes daylighting and ventilation by bringing sunlight into the middle of the building and enabling effective use of ceiling fans.
  • A high thermal performance "envelope," or, in other words, foundation, walls, roof of structural insulated panels and window glazing, designed to reduce heating and cooling requirments and energy consumption.
  • Design with the assistance of computer modeling to yield annual energy savings of 43-49% compared to an equivalent building that was merely code-compliant. Features enabling this include: high-E window glazing, motorized atrium windows to maximize ventilation, variable-speed fans and pumps, an air-to-heat recovery system that introduces outside air to achieve good air quality while recovering heat from exhaust air, light-controlling occupancy sensors, energy-efficient lighting.
  • Geothermal heating and cooling via a closed-loop, ground-source heat pump.
  • Composting toilets that contain waste and dramatically reduce water use. The Science Center and Lodge composting toilets save up to 420,000 gallons of water a year.
  • Locally sourced materials, sustainably harvested from the Forest: red oak wainscoting; red, white, scarlet and black oak trunks in the atrium; and tamarack columns on the north deck.  Stones from the Forest was used for the exterior walls and vestibule bench. 
  • Recycled materials, including the wood used in the roof insulation panels
  • Materials selected for mimimal outgassing of chemicals to protect occupant health, including low-formaldehyde wood and paints with low levels of volatile organic compounds.