May 11, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Will Lambeth and Tim Martin, architectural interns at Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, will be on hand at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science’s Prairie Ridge Eco-Station in Raleigh on Thursday, May 14, to help the middle- and high-school members of the Citizen Science Investigators Club discover what makes a building “green.”
Prairie Ridge is a hands-on teaching and extension project located on a diverse 38-acre site on the edge of Raleigh. Its mission is to educating North Carolinians of all ages about the natural sciences and the importance of environmental stewardship. and demonstrate how architecture can enhance the natural environment.
Lambeth and Martin will discuss the many sustainable features of Prairie Ridge’s award-winning “Outdoor Classroom,” which was designed by Frank Harmon’s firm not only to provide a learning space at the eco-station but also to demonstrate environmental sustainability through its design and construction.
The interns will help the club’s students understand how architecture can tread lightly on the natural environment and conserve energy in the process.
Among the many “green” features of the classroom, including construction materials, Lambeth and Martin will discuss Harmon’s decision about site orientation and how that impacted the classroom’s eco-friendly design. They will note that the wooden building’s heavy, south-facing overhang maximizes sun exposure in winter and creates shade in summer. Along with the screened walls, this orientation catches year-round southwesterly breezes. Together, these design elements conserve an enormous amount of energy normally used for lighting and HVAC systems.
Prairie Ridge sponsors the Citizen Science Investigators Club with middle and high school students. According to Brian F. Hahn, a natural resource specialist at Prairie Ridge, the students are very interested in green technology so that will be the total focus of the May 14 session. The architectural interns’ presence “will also expose the students to other career opportunities they may be interested in,” he added.
The Outdoor Classroom has received two design awards and has been featured in two national architectural journals. For more information on the project and on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit http://www.frankharmon.com.
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