Now that Memorial Day is behind us, it's officially summer, and when I think of summer, I often picture myself in an idyllic location with a drink in hand. My newest daydream includes me with a caipirinha on the terrace of the Claire Tow Theater. Not only are caipirinhas delicious, (they are made with rum, sugar, and lime), but they are also the national cocktail of Brazil. I know a caipirinha on the terrace of the Claire Tow Theater might seem like a random pairing, but it actually makes perfect sense. 

When LCT began construction on the roof of the Vivian Beaumont Theater in September of 2010, it was decided that the theater would be LEED certified. LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was created in 2000 by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification system gives building owners and architects guidelines for building and maintaining green buildings. 

This is where the caipirinha comes in. One of the eco-friendly (and my personal favorite) features of the Claire Tow Theater is the terrace. It has great views of Lincoln Center, an old-school viewfinder for up-close sightseeing, and benches to relax on before or after the show. More interestingly though, the wood used to build the terrace is called ipê and it's a renewable resource from Brazil. All of the wood is cut only from complete trees instead of particular parts of multiple trees, limiting waste of this natural resource. Ipê is also extremely strong and durable, making it a common material in building decks as it can last for up to forty years. 

The terrace is one in a long list of features that makes the Claire Tow Theater an eco-friendly space. Here are some other ways that our LEED-certification efforts reduce the carbon footprint of the new building: 

- Sensors adjust the light levels to account for natural light.

- Unoccupied areas are never lit. 

- When possible, air from the outside is used to cool the building instead of running compressors. 

- We have a green roof, planted adjacent to the terrace. It's with Sedum, a genus of leaf succulents common in the Northern Hemisphere, adding insulation and reducing heating and cooling costs. And, it looks great too. 

- Fluorescent lamps, ballasts, and dimmer controls are used to light the building, creating a high-efficiency lighting system. 

- Heating and cooling adjust depending on the occupancy and contents of an area. 

- The glass is insulated, providing solar shielding and temperature retention. 

Previews for the world premiere of Slowgirl begin on June 4th, so you'll have the opportunity to enjoy the terrace soon as well. And now that I've connected the dots, you can see how this Brazilian cocktail summer fantasy isn't quite so random. I'm beginning to rethink my caipirinha though. Slowgirl is set in Costa Rica so perhaps a Cacique Guaro Sour (that country's national cocktail) would be a more appropriate choice? Looks like it's going to be an exotic first summer at the Claire Tow Theater! 

Click HERE to learn more about the Claire Tow Theater's LEED certification.

Rebecca Benen is the Digital Marketing Associate at Lincoln Center Theater. You can follow her on Twitter @LCTheater.