The Green Door Initiative, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum have partnered to develop the Detroit Sustainability Center (DSC), which envisions the resurgence of Detroit as a vibrant urban hub where all can thrive in environmental, economic and social health. The heart, pride and creativity of Detroit are the roots and catalyst for local and regional change. Working with nonprofit business and governmental agencies, the Center will serve as an engine for ecological, economic and social change toward a sustainable society. The Detroit Sustainability Center will operate as a living system to explore the ways in which people design and construct sustainable buildings which in turn contribute to the general health and well being of its inhabitants and neighbors.
The DSC will accelerate the principles of green design, becoming a sustainable catalyst to the region, expanding the image of Detroit as a viable sustainable green economy and providing a new model for urban redevelopment. By empowering the local communities and encouraging people to take leadership in transforming their own environments into healthy places to live, work and play, the DSC aims to enhance the quality of life for residents and workers in the City of Detroit. It will serve as a community and professional resource hub, highlighting and expanding on the knowledge base and contemporary practices of sustainable design and lifestyle in the city of Detroit and beyond; fostering this new economy through the incorporation of civic engagements, job training, green business incubation, green construction, and policy innovation.
The mission of the Detroit Sustainability Center is to achieve a just and vibrant green economy by working with nonprofit, business, and governmental entities to:
1. Coordinate ongoing sustainability efforts,
2. Build community capacity to expand the impact of these efforts,
3. Cultivate new enterprise to fill gaps in service and education so that all Detroit’s residents will be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new green economy
The DSC will act as a laboratory for research on sustainable practices, technologies and initiatives. The center will provide continual systematic analysis of energy consumption, water use, natural ventilation, daylighting, temperature and waste recycling. Direct user monitoring of the engineering systems will promote education of the sustainable technologies in use. The research component of the center will create opportunities for information sharing and potential partnerships between DSC users and other sustainable leaders on a local, national and international stage. The Detroit Sustainability Center will be the first of its kind in the city of Detroit. It will convey practical knowledge and a hands-on education to the local and metropolitan community; promoting a leadership role in the development and integration of sustainable building technologies and strategies.
This adaptive reuse project will implement passive and active strategies relevant to the Detroit region; including efficient façade design, daylight harvesting, natural ventilation, thermal mass optimization and night purging, geothermal heating and cooling, solar water heating and grey water reuse. The DSC site design will reinforce the vision, providing many integrated green infrastructure strategies, supporting the basis of the Green Jobs Training program and educational center activities within. The project creates a series of restorative site interventions through sustainable urbanism and green infrastructure practices; extending into the community as part of a green neighborhood revitalization effort. Green roofs, water cleansing biotopes, rain gardens and a public plaza provide opportunities for education and collaboration within a healthy urban setting, instituting a hands-on approach to the construction, maintenance and stewardship of green systems and materials.Location: Detroit, Michigan, SUA Design Architect: inFORM studio Project name: Detroit Sustainability Center
Total Project: 14,747 sq. ft. Construction Cost: $7.9 million