From Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, Inc. (VINES):
Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, Inc. (VINES), a local non-profit organization committed to developing a sustainable and just community food system, is building its headquarters just east of Downtown Binghamton on Susquehanna Street. The facility will be an environmentally sustainable, highly efficient building. It will be the first Net-Zero Energy building in Binghamton and the first commercial building in the North East built using straw bale construction. Net-Zero Energy means that the structure will produce as much energy as it consumes.
A grant from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club will allow VINES to achieve this goal by funding the geothermal heating and cooling system and the 22 kW solar system.
“We are incredibly grateful that the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club has chosen to invest in VINES and the residents of our area,” says VINES Executive Director Amelia LoDolce. “This new building will be a home to VINES’ offices and will also have community space for neighbors and other nonprofits to use. Our new location will also be within walking distance of our Urban Farm so that the VINES youth can easily access the office when necessary.”
In addition to the geothermal and solar energy being harnessed, the use of straw bale construction will contribute to the environmental sustainability of the headquarters. This green construction technique uses straw bales for the insulation of the building allowing VINES to construct a very well insulated building using natural, locally grown materials.
This building would not be possible without grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Empire State Development, New York’s economic development agency, the Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation and the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. VINES recently launched a $150,00 Capital Campaign and thanks elite sponsor Vision Federal Credit Union. For more information about this project please visit vinesgardens.org/capital-campaign.