On March 22, Berks Nature celebrated the grand opening of The Rookery, an expansion of their headquarters and education center. The Rookery, which broke ground in June, consists of a covered rooftop patio and expansive indoor meeting center. The addition provides much-needed space for Berks Nature to increase their event capacity and expand the educational programs offered by the conservancy.
In keeping with Berks Nature’s commitment to nature conservation, The Rookery utilizes sustainable materials in its design. These elements range from the exterior paneling, made of repurposed wood previously used to grow mushrooms, to insulation, crafted from sheep’s wool instead of fiberglass.
Throughout construction, Burkey’s project team made it a priority to minimize disturbances to Berks Nature’s daily operations as much as possible. Because of the coordination and collaboration between owner and contractor, the preschool and other educational programs taking place directly beneath the new addition were able to remain operational throughout the project’s life cycle.
The Rookery is a direct addition to The Nature Place, which was constructed by Burkey in 2018. The LEED Gold-certified building utilizes recycled materials in more than one-third of its structure. The facility features bird-strike reduction glass, rain gardens, and daylight sensors to reduce energy usage.