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Our Greener Building


Center for the Inland Bays

In 2006, the CIB moved into the watershed and into a “greener” building. This landmark building serves as a public expression of our watershed-wide work; to help preserve the beauty and natural resources that make this area so desirable.

The former Coast Guard barracks in Delaware Seashore State Park was re-designed and re-built incorporating green design and materials to be a demonstration project in the watershed for more sustainable design and construction.

The beautiful site of the building, overlooking Indian River Bay, attracts visitors and volunteers to come and learn about our Inland Bays and to work with us for cleaner “fishable, swimmable Inland Bays.”


“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. 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.

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.

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.