News out of the New Jersey Meadowlands of late has focused on the football Giants’ decision to extort personal seat license fees from its long-standing fan base for the privilege of purchasing season tickets in the club’s new $1.6 billion stadium (designed to LEED standards, where feasible) under construction in the Giants Stadium parking lot. Should any of those fans get shut out of the new temple to corporate greed, perhaps they’ll instead spend their football Sundays visiting the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s Center for Environmental and Scientific Education and William D. McDowell Observatory in Lyndhurst, just a stone’s throw away from the Sports Complex.
The 10,000-square-foot structure housing the Center will be operated by Ramapo College as a study center for both astronomy and environmental education; the NJMC is seeking an unspecified level of LEED certification for the project. Designed by architect Fredric A. Rosen and built by general contractor Bernard Associates, the Center includes a number of classrooms, science labs, and a multipurpose room geared for use by both K-12 students and the general public, offering an environmental curriculum that will also emphasize the building’s sustainable features.
Engineers Di Stasio & Van Buren specified FSC-certified southern yellow pine for , glued, laminated (glulam) timbers and decking, which remain exposed. According to Rosen, the design intent was “a natural look consistent with environmental learning.” The Center’s sloping roof features 165 solar panels that should completely satisfy the building’s electricity needs. Solar tubes were installed in interior ceilings to distribute natural light deep into the interior spaces, which are also equipped with motion-sensor lighting. Other LEED-standard design features include low-VOC and recycled building materials and low-flow bathroom appliances and fixtures.
ML is short for our weekly Monday LEEDoff™ column, which typically profiles a different LEED project generally in (but not limited to) the New York City area. You can access an archive of profiled projects via this link.