For Release: Monday, April 22, 2013
Reinstein Woods Awarded Prestigious Green Building Certification
Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center in the Town of Cheektowaga received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design(LEED®) silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today as part of DEC's weeklong celebration of Earth Day. LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
"By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment," said DEC Region 9 Director Abby Snyder. "Because it incorporates readily available and affordable green features, Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center serves as a model to inspire citizens to incorporate green design into their own homes and businesses."
"The U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter is excited to welcome this education center into the family of LEED Certified buildings and the green building community," said board member Aliesa Adelman. "We applaud the Department of Environmental Conservation and project team for using an integrative and whole building design approach to create a truly sustainable building that will serve as a learning tool for how to conserve our precious resources."
"Efficient buildings are part of the solution to the climate change challenge," said Linda Arndt, President of Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve, Inc. "We appreciate that DEC invested in Reinstein Woods to provide a model of sustainability. We look forward to working with DEC to use this building to educate the next generation of environmental stewards."
The 4,900-square foot structure includes exhibit space, a meeting room, dividable classroom and office space for DEC education staff and DEC's non-profit partner, Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve. The building achieved LEED certification for incorporating a variety of environmentally friendly features. Designed by Beardsley Design Associates, the building's green features include radiant floor heating, extensive insulation, tankless water heaters and energy efficient windows that maximize daylight inside the building and help keep the building warm in winter and cool in summer. Locally harvested trees are also incorporated into the interior of the building.
DEC uses the building as a teaching tool to promote environmental stewardship. The building's green features are highlighted on signs throughout the building. Visitors also can listen to a cell-phone audio tour of the building and take home brochures with information about how they can incorporate green features into their own homes or businesses.
DEC offers "Climate Change Connections" lessons for middle and high school students to learn about global climate change through hands-on, inquiry-based activities in the education center.
For more information about the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, visit DEC's website. For more information about LEED, visit www.usgbc.org.
Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center is a designated New York State Watchable Wildlife site, where wildlife viewing opportunities abound.