Elemental Architecture

Elemental Architecture

New York, NY


Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Headquarters

This new 30,000 sf, $9.5 million high-performance office building will provide an expanded regional administrative center for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).The building is the DEC’s first project designed under New York State’s Executive Order 111 and is projected to achieve a LEED “Gold” rating. The building makes extensive use of day lighting, direct solar gain and air stratification with automated shading integrated with lighting controls.  Long span steel trusses allow for an expansive open workspace, flooding the main space with natural light.In addition, the new building is also DEC’s first building to implement its new storm-water design regulations for New York State. The site design takes advantage of large-scale biofiltration and storm water collection & retention as well as a hybrid of pervious and impervious parking areas. Site planning was designed to maximize natural & planted areas, reduce heat-islands and protect native species.The building’s modular design allows for the minimization of  construction waste and cutting, thereby also reducing overallconstruction cost through standardization and decreasing environmental impact.  In addition, construction materials that are  locally produced and make extensive use of recycled content were selected whenever possible. The interior of the building features a pressurized raised floor and modular partition system to accommodate future changes in use patterns with flexible power, voice, data and HVAC distribution while eliminating most ductwork. In addition, working with several national office system furniture companies, a new ‘green’ work-surface was developed for use in the open office landscape. Consisting of a clear-powder coat finish over the manufacturer’s standard MDF substrate, the new worksurface  substantially reduces the material and energy required to produce a final product  This innovation in the project is now being offered by several manufacturers as a ‘green’ alternative.In addition, DOE2 computer modeling indicates that the building will have energy saving of at least 42% when compared to a code-compliant or LEED baseline building and makes the project eligible for substantial NYSERDA grant funding.The project has been featured in Metropolis magazine for its innovation in sustainable design
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Status: Unbuilt
Location: New Paltz, United States