Thirteen teenagers recently explored sustainable design and green architecture at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, each creating a 12-square-foot building as a capstone project using pencils, sketchbooks, computer programs and their imaginations.
The weeklong program was taught by Jason Kliwinski and Michael Farewell, who designed the LEED-Platinum certified Watershed Center.
The students learned the main principles, challenges and technologies associated with green architecture and renewable energy. Next, they assessed existing structures on the 950-acre Watershed Reserve and analyzed how to make those buildings more sustainable.
After exploring the Watershed Reserve and learning about siting new buildings, each student picked a location for their “client” for their capstone project. Some students even invented elaborate profiles for their client before designing their buildings.
Using physical and computer modeling, the students designed a sustainable design for their small retreats. These ranged from triangular-shaped buildings suspended over the Stony Brook River to four-story homes complete with rainwater recapture, solar energy and rooftop gardens.
They culminated their week by presenting their designs and receiving feedback from professionals.