Green Building Tour at BNC

The George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center grew out of a strong commitment to conservation and environmental protection from both the City of Boston and Mass Audubon.

This building consumes 30% less energy than a conventional building, uses fewer natural resources, and creates a safer, healthier space for occupants.

In addition to serving as a regional model for green design, the Environmental Conservation Center is particularly focused on meeting the needs of the local community. The Center is situated in one of the highest density residential neighborhoods in the City of Boston, with more than 230,000 residents and over 40 schools within two miles. Community representatives and organizations were included from the early stages of the design process and their input continues to shape the programs and operations of the sanctuary.

The Boston Nature Center (BNC) seeks to engage its diverse community in the understanding of our role as human beings within the natural world and create a sense of connection among all living creatures. The BNC serves thousands of visitors each year and provides environmental education programs to Boston elementary schools through its Boston Schools Initiative and other innovative programs.

Take a Virtual Tour

Green buildings are built smarter. The George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center (GRWECC) building consumes 30% less energy than a conventional building, uses fewer natural resources, and creates a safer, healthier space for occupants. Click or mouse-over the sun symbols below to learn more about the building's Green features.

  <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Geothermal Heat Pumps draw water from 1200 feet below the surface of the earth, where water maintains an average temperature of approximately 55 degrees. This system is used to keep the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer.</div> <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Local Materials such as the Roxbury Puddingstone in the stone piers, require minimal transportation and support the local economy.</div> <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Recycled Materials can be found in many of the building's features including the carpet, tiles, bathroom stalls, and office furniture. </div> <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Trellises shade the south side of the building. In the summer, leafy vines grow to shade the windows and decrease the amount of heat entering the building. </div> <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Photovoltaic Shingles on the southern side of the cupola convert the sun's energy into electricity. Solar powered lights use the same technology to illuminate the parking lot and the front entrance. </div> <div>Low Emission Paint allows for better indoor air quality in the building.</div> <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Solar Thermal Panels use the sun's energy to heat water for the building.</div> <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Wood Beams and Posts are parallel strand lumber which is made from wood fibers that are often wasted during the milling process. </div> <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Well-positioned Clerestory Windows maximize the amount of natural light entering the building and allow for minimal use of artificial light. Rooms are equipped with photocell sensors which adjust lighting depending on the amount of natural light entering the room. </div> <div><img src = '' align='left' style='padding-right:4px;'>Renewable Resources which can be quickly regrown or regenerated, are used in many parts of the building. This includes the natural linoleum flooring and certified wood shingles.</div> <div>Landscaping around the building incorporates native plant species and provides natural habitat for wildlife.</div>