Gallery: Solar 2 Will Be a Carbon Neutral Eco-Center on New York’s East...

Despite being delayed by the economic downturn, green community group Solar One has raised more than half of the funds it needs to begin construction on Solar 2, its planned carbon neutral visitor center. Solar 2 will be an 8,000 square foot green arts and energy education center on the East River at 23rd Street, and Solar One expects to raise the final $6 million this year. When all is said and done, Solar 2 will be New York's first carbon neutral building.

Way back in 2006, Inhabitat reported on the plans for Solar 2, which will be used for environmental education and outreach. Originally slated to open in 2009, the project’s cash flow took a serious hit during the recession, and now construction can’t begin until Solar One raises $12.5 million. But the group has had a strong fundraising push and they feel optimistic about reaching their financial goals within the next year.

Designed by Kiss+Cathcart Architects, Solar 2 is set to become a must-see green destination. The building will have a non-integrated 90 kWh solar canopy that will provide 100 percent of Solar 2′s energy. Non-integration will allow for upgrades as technology advances. The building will also have a green roof to reduce heating and cooling needs while helping to eliminate CO2 and stormwater runoff. In fact, no waste water or stormwater will go to the sewer. It will all be treated on-site in a Living Machine ecosystem that will return the water for use in irrigation and toilets.

Surrounding the building will be a vegetation “green screen,” essentially a second skin created of vertical gardens. The plants will provide natural shade in the summer and create a habitat for birds and insects. The basement will have transparent walls to allow visitors to see the geothermal systems and learn how green HVAC systems work. A north-facing skylight and large glare reducing windows will allow for ample daylighting. Hopper windows will be installed to ensure maximum natural ventilation. The building’s exterior and interior will be constructed with recycled and renewable materials.

Solar 2 will have outdoor and indoor classrooms, plus a green theater and solar-powered stage where they will host festivals, concerts, and many other performances. The rooftop Eco-Cafe will serve food grown in the center’s hydroponic gardens, as well as fair trade, organic treats.

We know the construction team hasn’t even picked up their shovels, but we’re seriously excited for Solar 2. Now, if we could just get them to add a water taxi stop for easier access!

+ Solar One

+ Kiss+Cathcart Architects

Via DNAinfo

Images © Kiss+Cathcart Architects and Solar One

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