54 Portsmouth Street
Concord, NH 03301
The headquarters for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is located in East Concord on a bluff overlooking the Merrimack River. In addition to our award-winning green building design and innovative woodchip gasifier heating plant, we own nearly 100 acres with walking trails along the river.
The Forest Society's energy-efficient, passive solar design has won many awards over the years, and includes an active solar component. Installed with the help of Solar Works, Inc., the Forest Society's 4-kilowatt (kW) solar electric system is the largest grid-tied photovoltaic system (PV) in New Hampshire. It is capable of producing over 10 kW-hours of electricity a day, which is worth more than $400 a year. On average, the system produces 6 percent of the 14,000-square foot building's total electrical consumption.
In 1996, the Forest Society cranked up its new heating system and began heating the Conservation Center entirely with renewable energy. The new system, a central wood-chip gasifier, housed in its own building, is a state-of-the-art showpiece. The new system uses wood chips that are turned into a gas, which is then burned inside a boiler to produce hot water.
In 1998, 32 120-watt photovoltaic modules were positioned across the building's south facing roof, stretching 32 feet. Four 1,000-watt inverters convert the incoming direct current (DC) power produced by the PV panels' silicon cells into 120-volt alternating current (AC). The electricity generated from the system supplements the power provided by the utility company.
In 2001, we added the French Wing, featuring state-of-the-art building materials, natural lighting design, energy-efficiency measures, and low impact plumbing. In 2003, the French Wing won a gold medal under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. At that time, only 44 projects nationwide had earned LEED certification by the nation's leading experts in energy efficiency, public health and low-impact construction. The French Wing was the first building in New England to gain LEED approval, and one of only 12 to win gold.
The 11,400 square-foot French Wing cost $110 a square foot to build – comparable to typical new office construction. Click here (2.7 MB) to view a PDF of the wing's different features.
For more information about the Conservation Center's design, contact Jason Teaster at 603-224-9945 or .
Tours: You may take a self-guided tour of our building Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 603-224-9945 for details.
Hours: The Conservation Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; trails open daily, dawn to dusk.
Directions: Take I-93 to exit 16, go east at exit, then follow brown and white "Conservation Center" signs. Click here for detailed directions.
Room rentals: Click here for rental information and rates.