Selected Projects

Geochemistry Research Facility| NIST Green Demonstration Project Grant

The first federally-funded National Green Demonstration Project Grant through NIST (National Institute of Standards and Testing) was awarded to Croxton Collaborative /Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn in 1993, for the campus Master Planning and conceptual design of a new Geochemistry Research Facility for Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the research institute to Columbia University.

A Master Plan for the 137 acre campus was the essential first step in developing the project’s full ‘green performance’ potential. This effort not only led to a strategically advantageous site selection, but also allowed the reestablishment of a pedestrian-centered (vs. automobile centered) campus plan, a lower impact approach to infrastructure, and a low energy/high performance approach to site and land management.

In the planning and design for the new geochemistry building, a specific set of design/sustainable/environmental principles was developed to create blended ‘nature-driven’ assets (solar, climate) with energy-driven ones (fossil fuels, electricity) to gain economies by articulating building elements, to reestablish the site’s main water course, to establish a public automotive turn-around threshold, and to reuse entire foundation, perimeter and interior bearing walls, and shell elements of the existing Geochemistry structure.

The application of these principles has led to a solution which literally strips and reintegrates an existing building, accomplishes all new construction on an existing parking area, creates a net addition of water-penetrable surface on campus as well as a net forestation gain. Unique for its type, most of the major labs become fully day-lit and the remaining received supplemental natural light through clerestories to naturally-lit corridors, in tandem with their artificial lighting systems.

Seen as a whole, the Master Plan established a new environmental/sustainable definition of growth on the campus. Rather than an additive process, it became a process of internal transformation and higher capacities with minimal physical impact. This framework preceded USGBC's LEED 1.0 by five years.