Biodiversity Education Center

367 Freeport Parkway
Coppell, TX 75019

Tour Hours: 10am - 2pm


The Biodiversity Education Center is a “green” constructed net zero building.

The project receives power from 96 solar panels and includes a cistern that captures 9,400 gallons of rain water.


Learn more about the Biodiversity Education Center on their website at

Renewable energy features

Solar PV

kW: 19.68
Installation date:  2014
Installer:  SolarCity
Equipment details:


The 96 solar panels are photovoltaic panels that were donated by SolarCity.   Each panel can produce 205 Watts and the entire array has a 19.68 Kilowatt capacity.  There are four inverters serving these 96 solar panels.  The inverters convert the DC power generated by the solar panels into AC power for the BEC electric needs.  On average, the BEC generates 40-50% of the power it uses in a 24 hr period.

Rain water catchment

Installation date: 2014
Installer: John Deere Rain-water Harvesting Division
Equipment: 9,400 gallon metal cistern that feeds the drip irrigation for the rain garden. Just one inch of rain will fill the cistern about 1/3 full.

Retail Electric Provider


Energy Monitoring

Installation date: 2014
Installer: SolarCIty
Equipment: Building consumption and panel production is monitored and made available by Solar City


Green features

  • Roof: The roof deck has four inches of foam for energy efficiency and is covered with a high performance thermoplastic white membrane. The membrane provides high solar reflectivity and emissivity. The roof is shaped like  butterfly wings, designed to drain from the central axis into a 9,400 gallon rain cistern. The 5,850 square foot roof is optimal for rain water harvesting and also has 96 solar panels.
  • Low water use landscape: The BEC has a beautiful rain garden featuring native and drought tolerant perennials and pollinators. It requires very minimal water utilizing drip irrigation and boasts a lovely design by Coppell landscape architect, Janna Tidwell.
  • CFL or LED lighting:  The exterior lighting is LED.
  • Other:  The walls of the BEC are NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms.  These stay-in-place forms consist of two panels of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam that are 2 5/8” in thickness and connected together with a patented web system that is made of 50-100% recycled material.  NUDURA Forms are stacked, then steel reinforced and filled with concrete.   They provide up to R-50 insulation. The exterior stone was quarried and manufactured within 500 miles of the BEC.   It is a mix of Rattelsnake Rust (bumpy rust colored stone on bathroom side) and Cordova Shell (smooth shell filled stone on bench side).  The Cordova Shell is quarried specifically to expose the fossils within.
  • The windows are tinted and insulated and low flow plumbing is used to conserve energy and water.


Host Comments

The Biodiversity Education Center is a “green” constructed net zero building. The project receives power from 96 solar panels and includes a cistern that captures 9,400 gallons of rain water. Landscaping around the Center features Texas native and adaptive plants, reducing water consumption and providing a habitat for wildlife such as butterflies, hummingbirds, birds and bees. The center is nestled on 66acres of nature preserve in Wagon Wheel Park, providing the perfect setting for hands-on environmental education. Feel free to grab a trail map and hike the trails after this tour stop!

A representative from Solar City will be onsite from 10am-2pm to offer resources to those interested in investing in solar.