October 25, 2013 (Hillsborough, NJ) -The Farm Barn Orientation Center and Orchid Range at Duke Farms were both recently awarded LEED Platinum certification for its commitment to the highest standards of green building.
The U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification system is the nation’s benchmark for the design, construction and operation of the world’s greenest, most energy efficient and high-performing buildings. LEED Certification of the Farm Barn was based on seven key categories of Human and Environmental Health: Sustainable Site Development, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Operations and Regional Priority.
“Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, Duke Farms clearly demonstrates their leadership through their LEED certification,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The Farm Barn and Orchid Range projects efficiently use our natural resources and make an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations.”
Duke Farms began a massive retooling beginning in 2009 to achieve its mission to serve as a model of environmental stewardship and to inspire visitors to become informed stewards of the land. The property opened to the public in May 2012 and has since hosted nearly 500,000 visitors.
Both the Farm Barn Orientation Center and the Orchid Range were built nearly 110 years ago and have been repurposed to accommodate a variety of uses, and heavy visitation, while adhering to Duke Farm’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
“We are extremely proud to be able to meet the standards for LEED Platinum certification for both Farm Barn and the Orchid Range” said Michael Catania, Executive Director of Duke Farms. “We also believe that these two beautiful, versatile structures will serve as useful examples for others, as well as provide excellent venues for the full range of programs and activities that we offer to our visitors.“
Duke Farms underwent an exhaustive planning process, taking stock of its resources, working with state, federal and local conservation organizations, reaching out to local communities and other public gardens to assist in the development of a new vision for the property.