New building for connecting
to nature at Shaker Lakes

2600 South Park Blvd.
Shaker Heights, Ohio

The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes recent $2 million building project remodeled and expanded the center to add classroom space, a long-needed elevator and a visitor experience area. The goal of the renovation was to follow the center's mission of conservation of natural resources and to provide a model for other green buildings in developed communities.

The existing building stood since 1969, three years after the nature center was created in 1966, partly to stop a proposed freeway from destroying the Shaker parklands. The architecture firm Schmidt, Copeland, Parker Stevens designed the renovation of the 11,400 square foot structure. Funding came from individual donations and foundation grants.

The Nature Center leases land owned by the city of Cleveland. Cleveland also owns the land known as the Shaker Parklands, which extends from Fairhill Road to Eaton Road. The cities of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights have long-term leases with Cleveland on the portions of the Shaker Parklands that run through their cities.

Sustainable Sites

  • Building is located in the developed community of Shaker Heights
  • Easy access to the Green Line of the RTA's Rapid Transit system
  • Bike racks for those who want to bike to the nature center
  • Care was taken before and during construction to make sure that trees were not harmed
  • Building footprint made as small as possible
  • Vegetation on the roof to reduce heat-island effect and retain stormwater

Water Efficiency

  • Low-flow bathroom facilities
  • Waterless urinals
  • Rain barrels for stormwater retention
  • Motion sensors on faucets

Energy and Atmosphere

  • HVAC system run by geothermal energy
  • Energy-efficient fluorescent lighting
  • Sun tubes collect and distribute daylight
  • Motion sensors for lighting
  • Energy Star approved appliances
  • Energy-efficient, argon-filled windows

Materials and Resources

  • Reuse of existing building and large amounts of recycled materials used in construction
  • Construction wastes recycled
  • One large oak tree that had to be cut down during construction was used to make furniture for the nature center
  • Recyclable carpet tiles
  • Cement board siding, which is made from recycled wood, cement and plastics
  • Strawboard shelves and countertops made from compressed straw

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Low VOC emitting materials such as paints and carpeting
  • Air quality monitoring system
  • Operable windows
  • Smoking banned inside the building

, Executive Director


Back to top

EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003



Back to main Green Building


go to home page go to home page

Related Links:









Partner Links