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Ruby C. McSwain Education Center

The Ruby C. McSwain Education Center is an exceptional facility designed to enhance the educational activities at the JC Raulston Arboretum. The center houses the York Auditorium, staff offices, volunteer office, membership office, and headquarters for the Garden Club of North Carolina.

Many exciting teaching and research gardens surround the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. A few areas to enjoy include the Asian Valley, Scree Garden, Xeric Garden, and Contemplation Garden (link). The existing Perennial Border connects to the rooftop via the Geophyte Border, leading visitors to the A. E. Finley Foundation Rooftop Terrace which features the first green roof at NC State University.

Sustainable Design

The Ruby C. McSwain Education Center and the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center use energy efficient geothermal wells for their heating and cooling needs. Geothermal wells draw heat from, or release heat to, the earth, which has moderate temperatures year round. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal units reduce energy consumption by 44%–72% over conventional systems.

Additional sustainable features include insulation from NC State University's first green roof; low-maintenance, drought-resistant plants; use of local materials, including native wood siding; extensive daylighting designed to penetrate deep into the building; energy-efficient windows; paints with low volatile organic compounds; and poured-concrete walls.