Lingle Nature Hall



Lingle Nature Hall

[ The Lingle Nature Hall works with the sun, not against it, in order to shine light into our work world and create a pleasantly warm indoor environment. ]

We are situated in a community that has demonstrated a deep commitment to protecting the Earth’s resources and using them sustainably. The Lingle Nature Hall is just one example of this commitment. With such unwavering support from our community, we have been able to create a educative space for children and adults alike to engage with and explore how human development interacts with natural world around them.

You might not give much notice to floors in other buildings, but this one is keeping you comfortable! How? The temperature of this building is partially controlled through in-floor radiant heating and cooling (tubes running through the concrete with warm or cool liquid). We also poured an extra thick concrete slab to act as a thermal mass, trapping heat from the sun in the winter and cold from cool nights in the summer.



Made possible by a gift from Peter Trueblood & Cindy Evans Trueblood.

Is there a “front” to the building? Well, yes and no! While you enter through the north side, we hope guests will spend just as much time enjoying the south entrance. The north side must protect itself from the elements, so there are limited windows and doors. The south side works differently with many more windows.

The size and height of the overhang roof keeps the summer sun out and allows the winter sun in. (Think back to your Earth sciences classes when you learned that the summer sun is higher in the sky than the winter sun!) That’s what passive solar means: using design, not power, to make the sun work for us! Passive solar efforts made possible by a gift from the Telfair family in memory of David Telfair.



Thanks to Richmond High School’s Construction Technology classes, CEC can grow food all year long! These planters will allow us to take advantage of the south facing window wall. The planters are also designed to accommodate volunteers in wheelchairs so that everyone can contribute to producing local food!

This giant wall of windows is not only for passive solar purposes! We have designed this area with bird watchers in mind. Various native plantings outside this window will attract native birds and insects. As the plants mature, they will provide better protection for the birds allowing us to see more varieties! Use the provided books and binoculars to see how many you can identify. Better yet, get outside and see how many you can hear!

Personal touches can be found all over this building! The frames for our critter cages were handcrafted by talented volunteer Aaron Clarke. Each frame was designed to protect the original glass tank and the critter inside of it.

Consider the houses on the road leading up to our new building (or houses in most neighborhoods). Like most homes, they are built facing the road, aesthetically conforming to roads and other infrastructure. This building is different! Our unique entrance allows the sun to make the rules, not the road. CEC’s education center is positioned at 12.5 degrees (northwest), where it makes the most energy sense!


This desk was made by volunteer carpenter, Bill Miller. At CEC, it is not only important to reduce and recycle, but also to re-purpose. A piece of butcher’s block (found in our barn) was perfectly incorporated into this desk. If you look closely enough, you can still see some marks from its past life!