A $45 million upgrade to historic buildings and the natural landscape is planned for Duke Farms, the 2,700-acre environmental education and recreation center in Hillsborough, New Jersey, according to the Somerset Messenger-Gazette.
The educational and horticultural structures are being outfitted with new technology to limit the carbon footprint for the site, as radiant heating is being installed throughout buildings on the property.
Some of the buildings have already installed green technology and have gone as far as receiving LEED Gold certifications because of their design and development using sustainable materials and practices, according to the news source.
A spokeswoman for Duke Farms noted the conservatory, built in 1903 and renamed the Orchid Range, received this certification, something that is "almost unheard of for a greenhouse."
After receiving the award, director and chief executive Timothy Taylor noted that the new green efforts from Duke Farms have been noticed by many of the local residents.
"Duke Farms inspires people to transform their approach to conservation and to start building a more sustainable future," Taylor told the Messenger-Gazette.
The Farm Barn that was recently renovated was one of the first buildings to be targeted by the executives for Duke Farms. The radiant heating system that was installed throughout is explained to visitors on their environmental stewardship tours of the premises, the news source reported.
A radiant heating system works well for buildings that are large and have high ceilings, as the technology helps distribute heat in a more efficient manner. Because of the technology the temperature difference between the floor and ceiling is only two-to-three degrees compared with more than 10 degrees for a conventional heater.