Commercial:  Suffolk County Environmental Center, Islip, NY
LEED CS 2.0 Silver

Architect:  Peter Caradonna Architecture and Planning
LEED Consultant:  Peter Caradonna Architecture and Planning

Role:  Contributed to Construction Documents and LEED Certification documentation


The Suffolk County Environmental Center was created through the historical restoration of the 1917 Scully Residence originally designed by Grosvenor Atterbury, best known for his design of the model housing community Forrest Hills Gardens.  Located on approximately 80 acres along the estuaries of the great south bay, the former mansion is the ideal home for its primary occupant, Seatuck Environmental Association, which has a mission to promote the conservation of long island's wildlife and environment through education, research and advocacy.  Considering the location, use, and occupants, restoring the building to meet the standards of USGBC's LEED green building certification was an easy decision.

An extensive existing conditions survey was followed by investigation into measures that would be appropriate to the historical fabric of the existing building, as well as programmatic changes, code compliance, energy upgrades, and environmental concerns.  In addition to pursuing LEED certification, the 13,000 square foot historical building renovation and restoration addresses energy efficiency, sustainability and a healthy interior environment that will be beneficial to the occupants, both public and private. 

In addition to converting first floor public spaces into an exhibition space and a gift show, the final design included A.D.A upgrades within the building as well as new public bathrooms and a kitchen, that contain low flow and waterless fixtures.  Upper level bedrooms where converted to offices and a caretakers space.   Existing leaded glass windows that were vandalized were replaced with historically accurate replacements that incorporated energy panels, to meet current energy codes and contribute to the buildings LEED Certification.  Upgraded energy systems and environmentally preferable building material are used throughout.  The unique challenge was to blend modern green building strategies and materials with the careful restoration of an early 20th century building.

The 80 acres of protected wildlife habitat form the foundation of the nature center. The varied habitats become the outdoor classrooms and serve as the foundation for Seatuck’s educational offerings.  Seatuck proposes to establish and maintain a series of nature trails, boardwalks and an observation platform.  The Suffolk County Environmental Center opened to the public, with great acclaim, in March 2010.  
All waste-water is treated and infiltrated on site using a complex de-nitrification system; this eliminates the burden on local infrastructure while demonstrating a more environmentally friendly way to address waste. A photovoltaic system, while not yet installed, is planned to help offset some of the electricity demand of the property. 

See more about the Suffolk County Environmental Center, including events see the Seatuck website here

Above:  Turret at Formal Entry

Formal Courtyard

Entry Court

Existing Greenhouse houses new waste water treatment facility

Leaching fields for waste water system are under the Formal Garden
Formal Entry

Gift Shop

Exhibition Space & Hall

Upper Level Hall