Whittingham Discovery Center
About the Whittingham Discovery Center:
The center is a state-of-the-art visitor and environmental education center in the heart of Stamford that provides visitors with a place to explore the wonders of nature in the middle of the city. It features an interactive exhibit space that teaches visitors, campers, and school groups about the park’s history and the city’s connection to nature and highlights how natural spaces, like the park, make the city of Stamford more resilient in the face of climate change and increasing storm frequency.
In addition to the exhibit and environmental education classrooms, the Center also offers opportunities for community gatherings on its Green Roof or in the amphitheater or Dudley Williams Community Room, all with floor-to-ceiling windows which offer sweeping vistas of the park throughout the building.
Hours of Operation:
About the Environmentally Conscious Building Design:
The building’s design connects visitors to nature through biophilic design principles, a design concept that emphasizes the importance of connecting people to the natural world around them. The green roof and deck blend the Whittingham Discovery Center into the park’s environment and provide guests with a panoramic view of the natural vistas of Mill River Park in the heart of the city. Solar panels cover the roof, providing 85% of the building’s energy, in alignment with Mayor Simmons’ goals for Stamford to pursue greater solar energy.
Designed For Health:
The HVAC system design for the Discovery Center has many of the technologies and recommendations noted by ASHRAE and the CDC that provide improved air quality and indoor environmental conditions.
Spaces are designed to maintain a 60% high limit on relative humidity level during summertime operation. Humidity ranges above 60% can lead to bacteria, mold growth, and increase the viral transmission rate.
Regarding filtration, ASHRAE recommends a filter MERV rating of 13 or higher, as the MERV-13 minimum rating has proven efficient at capturing airborne viruses. The air handling units and indoor fan coil units serving the Discovery Center are scheduled with MERV-13 filters.
Lastly, the mechanical systems are designed to provide ventilation to all occupied spaces in accordance with LEED Indoor Air Quality requirements, including improved air quality strategies such as enhanced filtration and carbon dioxide monitoring. The ventilation design for these spaces will ensure proper air changes and minimum levels of outside air are being provided.