Glasshouse Facilities Specialist
ABOUT THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN
The New York Botanical Garden is an iconic living museum. An oasis in this busy metropolis since its founding in 1891, the Garden is a dynamic, leading New York City cultural institution with an annual operating budget of over $80 million. A National Historic Landmark, the 250-acre site’s verdant landscape supports over one million living plants in extensive collections. More than one million annual visitors enjoy the Garden, not only for its remarkable diversity of tropical, temperate, and desert flora but also for programming that ranges from renowned exhibitions in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and LuEsther T. Mertz Library to celebrations on Daffodil Hill.
The Garden is also a major educational institution. More than 300,000 people annually— among them Bronx families, schoolchildren, and teachers—learn about plant science, ecology, and healthful eating through NYBG’s hands-on, curriculum-based programming.
In addition, NYBG operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs, with nearly 100 Ph.D. scientists—working in the Garden’s state-of- the-art molecular labs as well as in the field, where they lead programs in 49 countries.
The Garden manages two primary glasshouses and several smaller growing facilities to support of its mission as a museum of plants. Collectively, these facilities encompass nearly two-and-a-half acres of growing space.
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is the Garden’s primary display glasshouse. Designed by the Lord and Burnham firm and completed in 1902, it is a New York City landmark and America’s pre-eminent Victorian-era conservatory. It comprises eleven interconnected rooms covering approximately one acre. Eight rooms are devoted to displaying the Garden’s permanent collections of palms, orchids, cycads, ferns, lowland tropical rainforest plants, montane tropical rainforest plants, tropical vines, tropical aquatic plants, and desert plants. Three rooms are used primarily for changing seasonal exhibitions. The Conservatory includes more than 16,000 panes of 1/8” thick glass of various dimensions, most of which are curved in at least one plane. It is heated by a pair of dual fuel steam boilers and cooled by a combination of vents, fans, and misting systems. Shading is applied externally in spring and removed in fall. Heating and cooling are controlled by a Priva climate control system.
The Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections are the Garden’s primary plant production facility. Completed in 2005, they cover approximately one acre and include eight growing zones divided into two blocks of four, a headhouse, offices, and a boiler room. The Nolen Greenhouses incorporate several modern glasshouse technologies including open roof venting, radiant floor heating, and a fertigation system. They are heated by dual fuel hot water boilers and cooled by roof vents, fans, fog systems, and evaporative coolers. Shading is provided by shade cloths, which also serve to retain heat during the cooler months. Heating, cooling, and shading are controlled by a Priva climate control system.
Other growing facilities include a small glass alpine house, a poly house, four pit houses, and several hoop houses.
The Glasshouse Facilities Specialist oversees the preservation and the repair of The New York Botanical Garden’s glasshouses, including the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the Garden’s primary exhibition and collections display house; the contemporary Nolen Greenhouses, the Garden’s primary growing greenhouse; and the Horticulture Operation Center Greenhouse. This position leads planning and maintenance for all facility systems, including the environmental control systems, and collaborates with horticulture managers and growers to provide ideal growing conditions for the Garden’s Living Collection of plants grown under glass.
SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Develop and implement annual work plans to ensure that all facilities operate at peak efficiency.
- Create maintenance manual for systems in each of the facilities.
- Create an emergency plan for Glasshouses in case of loss of heat, buildup of excessive heat, high winds, severe glass breakage, or failure of the environmental control system.
- In collaboration with Associate Vice President for Horticulture Operations, coordinate contractors to work on systems and facilities, as needed.
- Supervise and help with the application and removal of white wash shading on the exterior of the structures.
- Assist with conservatory display and exhibit construction.
- Operate environmental control systems, such as Priva Environmental Control, from both on-site and remotely, when needed
- Operate and work from aerial lift equipment, including articulated boom lift, spider lift, and scissor lift, ranging from 15’ – 90’, in indoor and outdoor environments, in all weather conditions.
- Climbs when needed to perform inspection, repairs, and maintenance of facilities with the use of rigging systems and harnesses.
- Ensure that all maintenance work complies with OSHA standards and best practices.
- Oversee and perform preventive maintenance and repairs on the exterior systems: glazing, architectural metals and wood vestibules, gutter system, vents, and doors.
- Oversee and perform preventive maintenance and repairs on interior systems: architectural metals, vent system (rack and pinion, operating mechanism including manual and motorized), environmental control systems (psychrometers, aspirated sensors, misting, fans, shades, evaporative coolers, etc.), bench systems, drainage systems, paint systems, and assists with minor repairs to heating, plumbing, and electrical systems, and receives the necessary assistance from Operation Department, when needed.
- Purchase and maintenance of an appropriate supply of glass, white wash, motors, caulking, and other supplies. necessary to perform daily maintenance of glass house buildings and equipment.
- Documentation of all work including reports on repairs, and special projects.
- Maintenance of aquatic pool filtration systems.
- This position is a 24-hour on call position, in cases of emergency weather or systems failure.
- 5-year’s experience and background or knowledge in glasshouse maintenance, mechanical systems, and electronic environmental controls
- Knowledge of glass repair, including glass cutting, proper application of butyl and silicone, procedure for setting glass, use of scaffolding system outside of structure
- Knowledge of environmental control systems operations, such as Priva
- Working knowledge of Microsoft office and ability to learn other systems
- Working knowledge of pumps, motors, and circuitry
- Ability to read blueprints
- Excellent communication skills
- Knowledge of and ability to operate heavy equipment, including interior and exterior lifts
- Valid driver’s license and any required heavy equipment operator’s license
- Two years of college, technical or vocational training
- Physical ability to climb structure and work from aerial lift equipment
- Ability to work for extended periods at extreme heights
- Ability to effectively interact with members of the Garden’s Horticulture, Operations, and Security Departments
Applicants should apply online at www.nybg.org/employment