Education Center MEP & Civil Design

PA-DCNR Wyoming, PA



The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) needed to renovate and expand its existing environmental education center at Frances Slocum State Park, to update and create more space for their environmental education, programming, exhibits and displays used by more than 15,000 visitors and educators annually. They prioritized implementation of energy-efficient solutions in line with their mission to conserve natural resources and wanted the design to integrate with, and take advantage of, the beautiful surroundings and views. We provided civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) design services, as well as helping the DCNR apply for and receive LEED® Silver Certification.

Solution Details

We provided clearly outlined comparisons of HVAC system options, including geothermal, variable refrigerant flow and standard split systems, to help the client understand the advantages and disadvantages of each system to make an informed decision about what systems best meets their needs. Ultimately, the client chose a geothermal HVAC system, since they could not access natural gas and did not want to use oil. Additionally, the geothermal HVAC system minimizes their energy costs and supports their mission to conserve natural resources.

To help visitors park and access the building more easily, we worked with Brinkash and Associates and participated in an early design study to determine the costs and design implications of reconfiguring the loop access road and parking, and met with the client to review their options.

We worked with both SMP Architects and DCNR to complete the LEED certification application, completing documentation related to the civil, structural, and MEP systems.

With the expansion and renovation completed, the education staff members have adequate room to conduct natural, cultural, historical and recreational programs for thousands of visitors each year. The building combines form and function, emphasizing the beauty of its natural surroundings while also conserving natural resources. This is evidenced by the LEED Silver Certification -- a physical embodiment of the DCNR’s mission.

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1,500 sq.ft. addition

LEED certified


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