Architect: Gensler Architects, New York, NY   |   Engineer: AKF Engineers New York, NY

Parks and Recreation Toilet Systems, Parks and Rec Toilet Systems, The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, Clivus Multrum Inc.

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The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries

Center for Environmental Innovation and Education (CEIE)

Beacon, NY

Beacon of Sustainability

The Beacon Institute for Rivers and estuaries was established in 2001 in the interest of advancing scientific and technological innovation regarding rivers and estuaries. The Institute’s flagship initiative, the River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON), is a joint effort between The Beacon Institute, IBM and Clarkson University to monitor 315 miles of the Hudson River with the best that science and technology have to offer.

Setting the Tone

The design, by Gensler Architects, utilizes 4,000 square feet of a historic 19th century brick factory. Located at Denning’s Point State Park in Beacon NY, the building will serve as the park’s visitor center as well as the home of REON and the Institute’s educational programs. As the first building on the campus, CEIE sets the tone for sustainable building design. The Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) recognized the project with an Award-of-Merit in 2009.

Innovative Technologies

CEIE, which has earned LEED Platinum certification, includes two large composting systems and three Foam-flush toilet fixtures to serve staff and visitors. The Foam-flush toilets have the potential to save over 200,000 gallons of water annually. In addition to conserving water, Clivus compost systems do not require any connections to a septic system or sewer. Instead, they treat waste on-site by naturally decomposing waste into stable, dry and liquid end-products. Among the building’s other sustainable features are solar and geothermal energy, a green roof, and wind towers on the roof to provide natural ventilation. In addition to protecting and conserving natural resources, CEIE’s green technologies will educate its guests. Handouts, tours, and a film will help inform visitors about composting toilets and other green features, and inspire a new generation of sustainability advocates.

  • Two commercial composters and three Foam-flush toilets.
  • Save more than 200,000 gallons of water annually
  • SARA-NY 2009 Award-of-Merit