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  Asbury Woods Nature Center, Page 40Asbury Woods Nature Center

1220 West 6th, #300, Cleveland, OH 44113

Erie, Pennsylvania
Total Square Feet: 10,690
Construction Period: Oct 2004 to Nov 2005 

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: I.A. Lewin & Associates - 4110 Mayfield Road, #B, South Euclid, OH 44121
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Odyssey Builders, Inc. - 1521 Lowell Avenue, Erie, PA 16505
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Peters, Tschantz, & Bandwen, Inc. - 275 Springside Drive, #300, Akron, OH 44333
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT & COST ESTIMATOR: Schmidt Copeland Parker Stevens, Inc. - 1220 West 6th, #300, Cleveland, OH 44113

In 2002, Schmidt Copeland Parker Stevens, Inc. was selected to serve as the lead architects and landscape architects for the improvements to Asbury Woods Nature Center. While the nature center was known as one of the premier environmental centers in northwestern Pennsylvania, it was operating out of a 70-year old cottage donated to the Millcreek Township School District by Dr. Otto Behrend, co-founder of the Hammermill Paper Company, in 1957. As a part of the master planning process performed by Schmidt Copeland Parker Stevens it was determined that the 2,000-square-foot cottage would need to be renovated, modernized and significantly enlarged to continue providing educational and recreational opportunities to the more than 130,000 visitors the center serves annually.

The completed Center now anchors a collage of buildings including a renovated pavilion, garage, new information kiosk, pergola and sugar shack. To compliment the much-needed accessible restrooms, office improvements, and classroom spaces for multiple concurrent school groups, the addition contains amenities ranging from a dedicated gift shop to an indoor turtle pond and waterfall.

Following the missions of both the Center and the design team, a wide variety of sustainable design and construction practices were used throughout the project and are supplemented by an extensive range of "green" materials and technologies. By balancing the educational experience with economically sound design solutions and the environment, the Nature Center has been crafted into a regional model of efficient and responsible use of resources to conserve water, energy, land and materials.

A geothermal heating exchange system consisting of fifteen 300-foot deep wells was installed beneath a grassy field adjacent to the center. The fluid circulating through the closed loop piping in these wells is pumped to the mechanical space in the basement of the original cottage where heat pumps extract heating or cooling as needed to satisfy the HVAC loads of the Center.

The 4,700-square-foot "green roof" was installed through funding secured from a Pennsylvania Energy Harvest grant. The vegetated roof moderates daily fluctuations in building temperature, reduces storm water runoff, improves air quality and mitigates urban heat island impacts.

The exterior walls of the addition are clad in fiber cement shingle panels, which effectively blend the new construction into the wood shingle of the historic cottage providing a long term, low maintenance siding alternative.

Operable windows allow views to the Center's surroundings as well as offering light and natural ventilation. Tubular skylights also bring natural light into several of the buildings spaces.

Interior finishes include sealed concrete floors, flooring composed of recycled rubber, low VOC paints, and carpet tiles with a number of green attributes. The wood wainscot used throughout the building was milled from trees harvested on site as part of a forestry management campaign.

The site work includes low maintenance native trees, wildflower seeding and wetland plantings. The design team minimized paved parking areas by providing overflow parking on stabilized lawn and much of the storm water piping was eliminated by using planted swales, which allow rain to naturally recharge groundwater.

In addition to recognition for the environmental accomplishments of the project, one of the greatest compliments that the design team received was the acknowledgment that even long-time visitors to Asbury Woods Nature Center had difficulty distinguishing where the architecture of the original much-loved structure ended and the new construction began. With the help of dedicated staff and a refreshed mission, the new building will see Asbury Woods Nature Center and its visitors through a long and sustainable future.

DIV 03:
Concrete Stain: Solomon Colors.
DIV 07: Fiber Cement Siding: James Hardie; Membrane: Sarnafil; Vegetated: Roof Meadow; Shingles: GAF.
DIV 08: Entrances & Storefronts: Tubelite; Windows: Integrity(R) by Marvin.
DIV 09: Acoustical Treatment: USG, Tectum; Wall Carpet: Ozite Rib, Paint: ICI; Sheet Flooring: ECOsurfaces(R) by Dodge-Regupol; Carpet Tile: Shaw.
DIV 26: Lighting: Lithonia, Hapco, Trend, Ruud, Lightolier, Linear, Bartco.

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