Hockessin, DE

Mt. Cuba Center

A beautiful botanic garden with a visionary approach to conversation, Mt. Cuba Center set the goal of creating a net zero greenhouse complex which will utilize innovative approaches to energy capture and reuse technology. B&F has been working with Mt. Cuba since before the selection of a design team, developing the scope and budget alongside their team, and our team is currently managing the construction of the complex.

mt cuba center delaware net zero greenhouse complex
Project TypeNew Construction, Sitework
Construction Cost$15 Million
Project Size7.2 Acres
Civil EngineerMeliora
BuilderBancroft Construction

Net zero greenhouse complex enhances botanic garden

Commitment to the Environment

Mt. Cuba has a visionary approach to conversation by promoting and cultivating natural flora. Their deep commitment to the environment, in the context of this project, has meant that the team has adhered to best practices in sustainable design through siting, material selections, recycling, adaptive reuse, life cycle analysis, and resource consumption.

Creating the Project Brief

B&F began working with Mt. Cuba prior to the selection of a design team. Utilizing our in-house Cost Estimators, we worked with our client to create several programmatic options that helped establish orders-of-magnitude feasibility budgets. These were incorporated into a project brief, which became the basis for a nationwide architect selection process. The project brief also became a touchpoint to help ensure that the design teams designed to these budget parameters.

Reconciliation and Cost Savings

After leading a contractor selection process, we worked with the team effectively to reconcile parallel cost estimates at the conclusion of each design phase. We also worked together to find cost saving options and alternative cost-effective design solutions to help achieve the client's design goals.

Phased Construction

The project consists of several structures, extensive site work, and the coordination of phased enabling projects. The first phase consisted of a new parking facility with permeable paving over recharge basis and rain gardens with retaining walls; repairs to an existing pedestrian bridge; paths leading through the formal gardens; ADA modifications to the Main House's terraces; and extensive planting additions and garden adaptations.

The Greenhouse Complex

Currently underway, the greenhouse complex includes a nearly 8,000 square-foot conditioned greenhouse, a new headhouse containing offices, labs, and work areas. B&F also helped purchase and coordinate the installation of the specialized greenhouse irrigation system with the base building construction.

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