The Heimbold Visual Arts Center

  • One of the first environmentally responsible visual arts buildings in the country
  • The first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) college or university visual arts building
  • The first LEED-certified college building of any kind in New York State.
  • Received a Top Ten Green Projects Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2005


  • Site preparation involved blasting into the Yonkers bedrock; much of the excavated rock was recycled as gravel and other building material used during construction
  • Wherever possible, local products were used to construct Heimbold; even the steel was manufactured within 500 miles
  • Buying locally reduced the environmental impact of transportation and helped support the local economy
  • Non-toxic building materials were used to reduce odors and irritants
  • Certified and sustainable wood products were used in building and furnishing Heimbold
  • Natural cork flooring has been incorporated throughout Heimbold, and the auditorium seats are constructed of non-traditional materials

Inside Heimbold Visual Arts CenterResults

  • More than half of the 61,000 square feet of classrooms, auditoriums, studios, and gallery spaces are located underground
  • Eight underground wells provide a geothermal heating and cooling system for the building
  • Landscaped rooftop terraces double as gardens and mimic the earth’s natural atmospheric cooling and also control storm water runoff
  • Skylights, glass walls, and open spaces let in abundant natural light, minimizing the need for energy-consuming artificial lighting
  • Motion-detecting light fixtures as well as strategic “low-lighting” are utilized wherever possible to ensure that electricity isn’t wasted in empty rooms
  • Furnished with environmentally responsible HVAC, refrigeration, and fire suppression equipment that does not use toxic gases
  • High-powered ventilation systems meet the unique needs of a visual arts space
  • Energy use is expected to be about 40% less than that of traditionally constructed buildings