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Green Education Center Along East River to Be Elevated 15 Feet

By Heather Holland | November 25, 2013 10:09am
 The new design for Solar One's planned green building includes storm protections and a home for kayaks.
The new design for Solar One's planned green building includes storm protections and a home for kayaks.
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Courtesy of Solar One

STUYVESANT COVE PARK — An educational group's new green building on the East River waterfront will feature teaching space, kayak storage, solar panels and storm protections, according to designs released to DNAinfo New York.

The earlier designs for Solar One's proposed Solar 2 building in Stuyvesant Cove Park near East 22nd Street to house educational programs and serve as an example of green architecture had to be changed following Hurricane Sandy when the area was flooded.

Under the new designs, the 8,000-square-foot building will be elevated 15 feet off the ground to protect it from floods, and the building will include additional insulation to keep it warmer in case of a power outage, officials said.

“The most important changes adapt to the reality after Hurricane Sandy,” said Max Joel, spokesman for Solar One, which currently has headquarters at 37 W. 26th St.

“The design has been adapted to go over and beyond the requirements for coastal zoning. In the event of another storm surge, the water would just rush through."

In addition to protecting the building from floods, the extra elevation will allow Solar One to store kayaks beneath the building and offer kayaking programs in the East River, Joel said.

Solar panels will be affixed to the building's roof, enabling the structure to supply its own power if electricity is cut, and the steel structure is designed to stand up to hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes. The building also has a recycled water system.

The new facility has been in the works for a decade, and is close to completing its fundraising drive, securing $7.3 million out of the $11.5 million the group needs to begin construction, organizers said.

They hope to close the gap in early 2014 and break ground sometime next year, said executive director Chris Collins.

The design must be approved by the Public Design Commission before construction begins, Collins said.