2009 Awards: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Forest Center

The Forest Center, which was completed last August, is a flexible, multi-purpose educational gathering space and classroom and one of the greenest buildings to date in the National Park System. It is the first wood frame building constructed with local, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood, almost all of which was harvested and milled from the park’s forest. The building is largely self-sufficient in energy consumption; heated with local fire wood by a high-efficiency, low emission boiler and powered by the solar array on its roof.  The Forest Center recently received Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Other sustainability features of the building include:

  • on demand ventilation (triggered by CO2 sensors)
  • high performance building envelope
  • EnergyStar appliances and motors
  • non-toxic, locally produced wood finish

The Forest Center will be an important component of an intelligent micro-grid system, currently under development at the park. This system includes the evaluation of the park’s energy use and development of an intelligent microgrid strategy for managing and improving energy efficiency and reducing energy-related emissions. In addition, the Forest Center anchors the park’s sustainability interpretive programming by demonstrating best practices in green design environmental performance. In its first year of operation, the Forest Center has hosted hundreds of school children, park partners, and visitors for interpretive programs and workshops. The Forest Center was a partnership project of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and the Woodstock Foundation.