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Cusano Environmental Education Center (CEEC) Design Team



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Using green building design and construction practices, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Cusano Environmental Education Center (CEEC) Design Team created an educational oasis at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, demonstrating the importance of the natural world to children and inspiring visitors to become responsible stewards of the environment. The building is designed to use energy efficiently; natural day lighting is supplemented with high-efficiency lighting systems. Recycled newsprint cellulose is used as insulation.

Cusano Environmental Education Center (CEEC) Design Team and Assistant Secretary Lynn Scarlett
Cusano Environmental Education Center (CEEC) Design Team
and Assistant Secretary Lynn Scarlett


A geothermal heating and cooling system draws 55E water from a series of wells; in the winter, the building will draw heat from the water and in the summer, the water takes heat away. An innovative wastewater treatment system - the Marsh Machine - demonstrates how bacteria and other organisms work to purify water. Other construction details include the use of products made with recycled content, and materials selected for low impact on the environment including wood grown in certified sustainably-managed forests. The site, which was previously used as a construction waste landfill, was reclaimed as part of this effort with the restoration of shallow wetlands.