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Historic Mabee Farm is Green in Two Ways

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Note: This house is on the 2013 Solar & Green Building Tour. See Tour Details... 


Green Buildings Open House 2012  GEORGE E. FRANCHERE EDUCATION CENTER  at the MABEE HISTORIC SITE on October 13!

October 13 - The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s annual Green Buildings Open House, the largest sustainable energy event in the Northeast, will be taking place  Saturday, October 5, from 10 AM to 3 PM

Buildings in the CAPITAL DISTRICT will be part of this year’s Green Buildings Open House (GBOH).  To get a list of locations in our area and other areas (or to learn more about building features or fuel types) go to and search the NESEA GBOH database.

About the George E. Franchere Education Center’s Green Building Features

Site Selection & Orientation

FEC is built on formerly constructed land, the site of old barns and farm outbuildings. This adheres to the first rule of Green Building and also preserves our undisturbed fields that likely contain historical artifacts. The entire building site received an archeological investigation before construction.

FEC does not face the road. It faces due South, oriented to the Sun. This allows for easy control of direct sunlight and its UV rays that are harmful to artifacts and artwork, and for control of overheating in the summer.  Yet, in winter, this also allows for the beneficial capture of passive solar heat in the basement classroom area, and for the maximum output from our PV electric panels.

Geothermal Heating & Cooling System

 Fifteen water wells, 400 feet deep, send ground temperature water to heat pumps in the building which then raise or lower the temperature, then transfer the energy to the air handling system that delivers warm or cool air to the rooms.

Photovoltaic Electric System

 One hundred, 230 watt PV panels are mounted on the Solar Picnic Pavilion, for a total plant size of 23 kW.  Three 7000 watt inverters inside the building convert the solar DC electricity into standard AC. The system is net-metering, meaning that when the system is producing more electricity than the building requires, the excess electricity is ‘sold’ back to the utility company.

Natural Materials

 FEC was designed to incorporate and showcase natural and sustainable materials; brick, stone, slate and wood.

Recycled Materials

 The oak hardwood floors are recycled and re-milled antique barn beams. The timber trusses of the Solar Picnic Pavilion are recycled from a demolished building, the former Dexter Shoe Store on Central Ave. in Colonie.

Super Insulation

 FEC uses several types of insulation designed specifically for the distinct elements of the building envelope ; rigid insulation board for the below grade sections of the foundation wall, and on the exterior side of  the upper walls, infill fiberglass batts for the standard framed walls, and a high R spray foam for the roof.

Electrical & Lighting System & Appliances

 The light fixtures, light bulbs, and lighting controls were all selected to be the highest efficiency. The majority of FEC lights and appliances meet or exceed the standards of the NYS Energy Star Program and many qualified for energy saving rebates from the NYSERDA program.

Media Contact: KEITH (518) 438-8352

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