"Thoreau-ly Underway", The Walden Pond Visitor Center in Concord recently broke ground on October 7, 2015. Designed by Maryann Thompson Architects, the 5,680 sf new visitor center is set to open in 2016. The new facility will house interactive exhibits on writer, Henry David Thoreau, and a film about Walden Pond.
The visitor center - a project that's been 40 years in the making - is designed to minimize its impact on the environment. The project is targeting LEED Gold certification, and will be primarily powered by solar panels setup in two existing parking lots. The design includes a high-performance exterior envelope; energy-efficient heating and cooling systems; landscaping that mimics the natural habitat, as well as wood grown and processed in Massachusetts. The A/E team anticipates the design will provide a 48% reduction in energy costs and 37% reduction in water consumption compared to baseline building.
In attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony were: Matthew Beaton, Secretary of the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; Carol Gladstone, Commissioner, Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM); Rep. Cory Atkins of Concord; Carol Sanchez, Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR); Wesley Mott, Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and Kenneth Bassett, President of the Walden Pond Advisory Board.
Architects: Maryann Thompson Architects, Project Manager: Zac Cardwell
Sustainable Design Consultant: The Green Engineer, Inc.