"I CHANGE to positively demonstrate forward thinking and alternative methods of construction and development and to educate our visitors on the technology and benefits of renewable energy."
—Mike Nolan, I-Square Owner
In 2011, my wife, Wendy and I began redeveloping and revitalizing a distressed retail/residential area in my hometown of Irondequoit, a suburb in Rochester NY. We built a pedestrian-friendly, community-oriented, mixed-use “town center” because the health and well-being of this area is important to us.
After an area high school student approached us asking what we were going to do to make this development “a green, energy efficient project” we decided to build this project in a sustainable way. The town of Irondequoit is bordered by Lake Ontario, the Genesee River and Irondequoit Bay and the 1000-acre Durand-Eastman Park. So our practices on site would affect these precious natural resources.
We made it our goal to make this a green project as well as demonstrate alternative methods of construction. This includes pervious sidewalks and parking lots, rain harvesting and recycling for landscaping to reduce storm water runoff, electrical vehicle charging stations and rooftop gardens.
Our newest building, The Imaginarium is a two-story, 9,000 sq. ft. Net-Zero-Energy (NZE) Educational Center for Art and Science. The Imaginarium brings alternative energies to the forefront for visitors of all ages to foster curiosity, engage learning and move us forward as a model of sustainability.
In addition to a geothermal heating, cooling and ventilating system, the Imaginarium generates electricity on site with the following sources:
• A 26-kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar PV system with 92 panels
• Two 8.9 kW small wind turbines
• 21 pieces of electricity-generating exercise equipment
The Imaginarium also features a vertical greenhouse with a hydropower demonstration area, an Art gallery, education space, and a real-time dashboard showing building energy performance.
For more information on I-Square and the Imaginarium please visit I-Square.us