The Gateway Center

Why Didn’t I Think of That: Architecture Alive and Thriving

The Garden of Eden exists, and it’s a 10,000-square foot dreamland for ecologists. The Gateway Center at State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) houses a massive green roof where students, staff and ecologists alike go to learn about marginalized species, and it’s only one of the many features of The Gateway Center’s bioclimatic architecture.

“Bioclimatic architecture” intentionally designs and builds structures to connect with living organisms and ecosystems to sustain itself and the people it houses. Basically, The Gateway Center is, by any definition, alive and thriving, which is why we picked this project for our WDITOT series.

The systems incorporated into the construction of this project are breathing life into the people who study here, and they embody what the future of green design can achieve. A combined heat-and-powered system provides the campus with 60 percent of its heating needs and 20 percent of its electrical power. It also features a 10,000-square foot green roof that uses native plant species from eastern Lake Ontario dunes and alvar pavement barrens at the northeastern end of Lake Ontario. The green roof is a learning laboratory for students and teachers, as well as a scenic view for the event spaces above.

The LEED Platinum center is both a hub for campus activity and a teaching tool that demonstrates sustainability. Among the features that helped achieve the Platinum certification are site selection, development density and community connectivity, public transportation access, water-efficient landscaping, optimizing energy performance, onsite renewable energy, construction waste management, recycled content in materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design and regional property credits that include storm water design and heat island effect.

The Gateway Center’s green innovations will inspire ecologists, architects and anyone who steps foot inside for years to come.

Source: College of Environmental Science and Forestry