The internal structure of the building was designed with the ecosystem in mind, using criteria from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program of the U.S. Green Building Council. The Flint Hills Discovery Center received LEED Gold certification in January 2013, making it the first city building to achieve LEED status and the third LEED Gold building in Manhattan.
Some of the LEED components include:
Heating and cooling system supported by geothermal well field and heat pump technology
Use of LED or low-voltage lighting components for exhibition, architectural and landscape features
A complex green roof consisting of soils, gardens and terraces
Two on-site bioswales used for groundwater filtration
More than 85% of the building's materials and labor sourced from within a 50 mile radius of the site