Our Greener Building
Our Center for the Inland Bays…a demonstration of renewable energy, and green design and building materials
“First we shape our buildings, and then they shape us.” Sir Winston Churchill
These words resonated with us as we worked to create a facility that would serve as the public face of our mission and objectives.We hope that by creating a demonstration project of environmentally-friendly design, we can influence and encourage others to also construct sustainable buildings that have less impact on our ecology.
Green architecture is not a style, trend or a vernacular.
It is a climatically, geographically and culturally appropriate way of architecture and building. It combines the best of both old and new technologies, which has at its core, the principle of respect and caring for the earth.
Green design results in reduced operating costs for both buildings & landscapes
and with better health and productivity of workers. Studies have also shown that ‘green’ buildings increase property values as well as occupancy rates.
Recycling existing buildings
Building new is hard on the environment. If the site is undeveloped, it disturbs natural ecosystems; if you are tearing down an existing building there are tons of materials that usually go to landfills. So, we achieved an important green benefit simply by the selection of the building site. By renovating the former USCG barracks at Indian River Inlet, the CIB was able to restore an existing building and its infrastructure and use the original building foot print without disturbing additional land and without creating demolition debris for the landfill.
Use of renewable energy sources is also a critical consideration in green design.
While investments to achieve this end may initially be higher, the longer-term effect is one of considerable savings both to the environment and financially, with reduced running costs.
We began with an Energy Star audit so that we could plan for superior energy efficiency. This audit ensured that the duct work is contained within the building’s envelope where possible and that the building is sealed and secured to prevent energy loss to the external environment.
Our $19 electric bill
Visitors to the CIB will notice our wind turbine next to the building and the solar panels that cover our south-facing roof. The solar panels and the wind turbine generate 93% of the buildings total electricity needs and feed any excess back into the “grid.”
- Photovoltaic Generation (since JUN ’06)50,644 kWhrs or 10,128 kWhrs/year
- Wind Generation (since JUL ’09) 7,884/kWhrs or 4,296 kWhrs/year
Many more sustainable alternative materials were installed including bamboo flooring and countertops manufactured from recycled materials. A recycling station was built into the casework in the kitchen. Outside, water is collected from roof runoff and directed into rain barrels, then, using solar powered pumps, used to irrigate the Native Plant Demonstration Garden. Furniture on the deck was manufactured from recycled plastic milk jugs.
If you would like additional information about our efforts to ‘green up’ our new facility or are interested in green design for your own project, please visit and see for yourself.
Did You Know
DID YOU KNOW?
Blue crabs have the ability to sacrifice limbs (called autotomy) in order to avoid capture. Missing limbs are regrown by a process called regeneration.