Our Buildings

Our educational complex features two principal buildings that work together like interdependent species in an ecosystem. In keeping with the Foundation’s mission, these high performance green buildings work in harmony with nature, allowing us to make use of the sun and rain to achieve net zero energy, net zero water, and carbon-neutral facilities.

 
The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Environmental Center
The Cafritz Environmental Center is the 13th project in the world to achieve full Living Building Challenge certification, the most rigorous and ambitious performance standard for buildings on the planet. To qualify, a structure must operate for a full year proving that it operates at net-zero energy and net-zero water in addition to being carbon neutral, using construction materials that are non-toxic and non-polluting and meeting other environmental and social criteria.
Boardwalk and Observation Stations
Nature is the best classroom and a carefully crafted series of bio-swales and rain gardens will help ensure the ‘classroom’ is well outfitted with opportunities to learn about engineering and other STEM concepts. Our fully accessible boardwalk, replete with observation stations and completed in 2013, meanders through an emergent wetland thereby complementing the notion of nature as classroom.
Bunkhouses
In addition to the main educational buildings, two new sleeping cabins are available for our overnight guests. The cabins provide auxiliary sleeping quarters, enhancing the Foundation’s ability to serve more students.