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Home Queens Botanical Garden’s Visitor & Administration Center Draws Architects from Around the World

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Queens Botanical Garden’s Visitor & Administration Center Draws Architects from Around the World

March 21, 2008
Contact: Scott Stefan, 718-886-3800, ext. 329

Flushing, New York, March 21, 2008 – Queens Botanical Garden’s futuristic Visitor & Administration Center was built by New York City to showcase all the advanced technology available to mitigate global warming. As a demonstration project, it’s been a big hit.

On March 20, twelve top executives from Chinese energy, construction, and design firms visited the Garden to take a look at the V&A Center. Architects from the Manhattan firm Perkins Eastman invited the executives to consider the green technologies used in the V&A Center for the approximately 30 projects the firm is designing in China, according to architect Edward Stand. The V&A Center was designed by another Manhattan firm, BKSK Architects, but has quickly become a building other architects point to as a model.

“There’s more construction going on in China now than any other country in the world,” said Perkins Eastman’s Chris Chao, one of the group’s translators, “so it makes sense that they’d like to learn from the experience in America.” Chao said the Chinese executives were very impressed by the well-defined standards for green architecture in the United States.

“The LEED standards are very impressive to people coming from a country where there are no standards,” said Chao, referring to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® program that guides green architecture in America. “One executive told me the LEED standards were probably the most advanced technology they saw on this trip because with standards like that, all new buildings would be vastly improved,” said Chao.

With its photovoltaic cells, planted green roof, geothermal heating and cooling, water recycling systems, and compost toilets, the Garden’s V&A Center was designed to achieve LEED platinum status, the highest standard of green design.

According to Scott Stefan, the Garden’s Director of Marketing, architects are among the building’s biggest fans. “We give tours on the first and third Saturdays of the month and many of the visitors are architects. They’re often green with envy because they’re aware of the new technologies but haven’t had a chance to use them yet in a building.” Stefan said that in the past two weeks, architects from Philadelphia, Ohio, and Germany had visited the Garden and that representatives from the Mets came by to look at the planted green roof.

QBG Board Member Emily Lin, who is a principal at Lin & Associates, an architectural firm in Kew Gardens, welcomed the visitors and chatted in Chinese. She was delighted that the visitors were from Shangdon, the same province where her mother was born. Shangdong, in eastern China, is that country’s second most populous province with 92 million people.  Asked what they planned to do after the tour, Edward Stand said, “We’ll go to lunch. We hear there are a couple of Chinese restaurants in Flushing.”


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