When Seneca Meadows Inc, the operator of the largest landfill in the northeast, decided to build an educational facility to showcase their innovative technologies and offer classroom space for the local community, it was natural for it to be a sustainable, green facility. From their experience with other environmentally friendly projects, the Mitchell Group knew it was best to prepare for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification right from the onset of the project. Their design/build approach to construction, acting as both the architect and the builder, positioned the Mitchell Group perfectly to ensure the completed structure met every requirement originally planned for. From this foresight and attention to detail, the Seneca Meadows Community Environmental Education Center was LEED certified to the Gold Level, one of the top levels of certification for new building construction.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501©(3) non profit that developed the LEED Green Building Rating System. It provides a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. The LEED Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The system offers certification for new construction that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five green design categories: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
“The design and building process of a green facility can be a long process,” said Rick Mitchell, President and CEO of the Mitchell Group. “But since we work as both the architect and the builder, we were able to cut out the back and forth or ‘passing of the buck’ that can occur when several companies work together on a single project. With two LEED Accredited professionals on our staff, we made the process as efficient as possible. We are very happy we were able to build an environmentally conscious facility for Seneca Meadows, especially considering the educational opportunities this new center provides to the community.”
The new Seneca Meadows Community Environmental Education Center serves as the entrance to a 576 acre wetland complex, with a biology style classroom for local high school students, and a display area used to showcase the many innovative and environmentally friendly aspects of the Seneca Meadows landfill.
The Mitchell Group (mitchelldesignbuild.com) has been a regional leader in the design and construction of commercial, retail and office structures since the 1980’s. Their clients reflect a variety of sizes and sectors; a testimony to the Mitchell Group’s ingenuity, innovation and dedication to every project. They credit their overwhelming success to their holistic approach to architecture and construction, allowing resources to go into the product, rather than the process.