Seeing Green Energy at Work: Matthew Bialecki, AIA, to lead Tour of Sam’s Point Conservation Center
Sponsored by: Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA)
On Saturday, October 7th, at 11am, nationally recognized Hudson Valley architect Matthew Bialecki, AIA, will lead a free tour of the new, environmentally friendly Sam’s Point Conservation Center in Cragsmoor, NY. The interpretive center, designed by Bialecki for The Nature Conservancy, acts as a gateway and principal support facility for visitors using the Sam’s Point Preserve. It opened to the public in 2005 and has become known as one of the region’s premier examples of “green building” design. The building received two honor awards from the American Institute of Architects in 2005 for Sustainability and Architectural Design and is currently being considered for LEED certification (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System™).
The tour is sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). “All of the architectural design, site planning, materials and building systems have been carefully selected to illustrate practical, affordable applications of state-of-the-art sustainable building practices and passive solar design,” said Bialecki.
The building is primarily constructed of “Gunk-Crete”, a specially formulated concrete and quartzite aggregate mix, fabricated by David Kucera Inc., that is similar materially to the naturally occurring Shawangunk conglomerate. The roof structure is of sustainably harvested heavy timber beams with a wood ceiling. Building systems are designed to be highly energy-efficient and provide maximum comfort to visitors. Cooling will be accomplished through a unique “umbrella roof” system that naturally dissipates summer heat. Landscaping, designed by Stefan Yarabek, ASLA, of Hudson and Pacific Design, features native plants propagated from seeds collected at the Preserve by interns and volunteers and restores the former parking lot to a natural landscape. “We are delighted with the comfortable environment of the building and can attest to effectiveness of its energy-efficient design,” said Cara Lee, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Shawangunk Ridge Program and project manager for building the Center.
The interpretive displays and educational installations are designed by Donald Watson, FAIA and explain the unique existing ecology of the preserve. The 5,770 acre preserve is at the highest point along the Shawangunk Ridge and is home to globally rare plants and animals. The building and landscape restoration are a project of The Nature Conservancy, a conservation organization dedicated to the protection of the world’s biodiversity. The Center was designed to compliment and reflect the dramatic setting at Sam’s Point. It offers permanent and traveling interpretive exhibits and serves as a base for the Conservancy’s scientific research, land stewardship and educational programs at the Preserve. Sam’s Point Preserve is owned by the Open Space Institute, whose mission is protecting the natural landscapes that define New York’s cultural, historic, environmental and recreational heritage.
Call (845) 647-7989 for info and fees.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization that preserves plants, animals and natural communities representing the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 15 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 102 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. Visit us on the Web at www.nature.org
Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural and historic landscapes to ensure public enjoyment, conserve habitats and sustain community character. OSI achieves its goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, special loan programs, and creative partnerships.
The Open Space Institute has protected more than 90,000 acres in New York State. Through its Northern Forest Protection Fund, OSI has assisted in the protection of more than 1,100,000 acres in northern NY, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. OSI’s New Jersey Conservation Loan Program has helped protect over 10,500 acres in the nation’s most densely populated state.
For more information about the tour contact: Matthew Bialecki, AIA
or go to: www.nesea.org
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