BINGHAMTON, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) The first Net Zero Energy building in Binghamton is under construction and will be a hub for green technologies and sustainability.

Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, commonly referred to as VINES, is an urban agriculture and food justice organization based in Binghamton. The group held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new 4,000 square foot headquarters at 157 Susquehanna Street. The green building will feature solar panels, air source heat pumps, and energy efficient elements such as using straw bales as insulation. Executive Director Amelia LoDolce says the project will act as a model for sustainable projects in the state and across the country.

“We’re excited to be breaking ground on this first commercial straw bale office, and its also going to be the first net zero energy building in Binghamton, so it will be a real model for green construction in our community,” said LoDolce.

LoDolce says that the building will produce just as much energy as it is consuming. She says that having a physical gathering space is important for programming and events all year around.

The project is expected to be finished by September of next year.