Tarrytown, NY

David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center


Once home to the Rockefeller family, The Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) is a resource for arts and education. With the creation of the new David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center at The Pocantico Center, the RBF will be able to offer more performances and exhibits along with space for additional artist residencies, a school, and community events. The project embodies the RBF’s support for preservation and sustainability by adapting a long-dormant, but unique structure–an orangerie commissioned by John D. Rockefeller in 1908–and incorporating low-carbon design initiatives to help the team achieve net zero energy use and LEED Platinum certification. SGH consulted on the building enclosure design for the project.

The project team wanted to preserve the building’s historic character and its existing enclosure systems to the extent possible, while making substantial upgrades to improve overall energy performance. SGH consulted on the building enclosure design and rehabilitation. Highlights of our work include:

  • Assessing the condition of the existing enclosure systems and helping design new roofing and windows for the original orangerie
  • Helping develop a restoration plan for the historic skylights and evaluating the thermal performance with the installation of interior laylights
  • Designing new roofing, skylight, and facade systems for a new pavilion addition
  • Performing thermal analysis of typical wall and glazing assemblies to assess the potential for condensation and determine the systems’ overall thermal performance (i.e., U-factor) for use in the energy model
  • Analyzing heat and moisture transport on opaque wall systems, comprising clay blocks with a plaster finish, to evaluate the potential for moisture accumulation and condensation with and without the proposed addition of interior insulation

Project Summary



Completion Date


Project Size




New Construction
Building Enclosures | Performance & Code Consulting
Culture & Entertainment
Specialized Capabilities
Building Science | Condition Assessments | Preservation | Energy & Sustainability

Key team members

Sean O'Brien
Sean O'Brien
Building Technology Division Head, New York
Cheryl  Saldanha
Cheryl Saldanha
Senior Project Manger