Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center

Project Profiles

Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center

New York State Parks (NYSPRHP), in partnership with local utility companies, commissioned a new Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center to serve as a community gathering space and to educate Long Island residents on resilience, local ecology and energy issues. Terrapin was contracted to develop the sustainable design vision and to support the exploration of exhibit and programmatic opportunities. The project was completed in 2020 and is now open to the public.

Net Zero Energy & Environmental Design Consulting

Through a series of meetings, research memos and design reviews, Terrapin progressed a sustainable design vision that reflected NYS Parks’ commitment to environmental stewardship. Design recommendations emphasized strategic solar shading and winter heat gain, ground-source heating, low-waste construction methods, airtight and well-insulated envelope materials, rainwater capture strategy, as well as solar PV and battery system integration. In follow-up meetings, Terrapin worked with NArchitects, FPM Group (MEP) and Starr Whitehouse (Landscape) to advance sustainable design and engineering strategies that make sense given the location and project goals. As a result of these efforts, the 11,000 square foot building is designed to meet net-zero energy use.

Educational Narrative & Exhibit Development

Jones Beach Energy and Nature CenterWorking closely with NYS Parks, Terrapin supported the development of a cohesive educational narrative and identified educational exhibit opportunities. As both a nature and energy center, Terrapin worked with exhibit curators to emphasize the unique intersections between nature and energy. This included content showcasing the movement of energy through trophic structures in nature and the resilience inherent to ecosystem that increasingly inform energy grid design. Terrapin also prioritized opportunities for learning from the building itself, with building energy dashboards, mechanical system displays and
interactive renewable energy technology exhibits.

Recognition: 2021 AIANY Honor Award. Read the AIA project profile.

Architect: NArchitects
Landscape Architect: Starr Whitehouse
MEP Engineer: FPM Group

Dakota Walker is an Associate Project Manager & Research Analyst at Terrapin Bright Green. He recently graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina Asheville with a degree in Environmental Management and Policy. Dakota believes the genius of nature has yet to be matched by human innovation. He’s interested in finding new approaches to solving contemporary policy and design challenges that reflect the resilience and resourcefulness of natural systems.