We are going green. Did you know that we're working to make our facilities, our vehicles--and everything else for that mattter--completely carbon neutral in just 8 years? It's true!
To meet our 2020 goal, we're designing, building, and refurbishing in a way that cuts our reliance on greenhouse gases and saves taxpayer dollars
Here are five (now award winning) sustainable design projects from around the Refuge System that you probably didn’t know about. If you live in the area, be sure to check them out in person!
This Sudbury, Massachusetts Refuge now boats 5,879 square-foot sustainably designed visitor center. The building features passive solar architecture, a cool roof, daylighting and much more. The 19 megawatt-hours of renewable power generated offsets 13.1 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Low flow plumbing fixtures and waterless urinals conserve 3,000 gallons of water a year.
The Great Falls, Montana refuge uses a sophisticated hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV)/wind energy system. The integrated system accomplished a 93 percent decrease in purchased electricity consumption for the headquarters building and a 33 percent reduction in energy intensity from the field station's FY 2003 baseline. This equates to a cost savings of approximately $4,000 a year, an energy savings of 121 million Btu, and a reduction in greenhouse gases of 25 metric tons annually.
This multi-purpose building in Morris, Minnesota combines interior daylighting, low-e glazed windows and energy-efficient lighting to improve comfort and performance. A 23-ton ground source heat pump maintains indoor air quality and improves energy performance by 30 percent. The facility’s water-efficient fixtures, native landscaping, and natural stormwater management system saves water. A solar photovoltaic array provides 35.9 MWH of renewable power, which offsets 25 tons of greenhouse gases annually.
Recently, the Bay area complex renovated its 9,000 square foot headquarters, incorpating sustainable design measures that reduce energy consumption 52 percent. The project saved more than 350 million Btu in FY 2010 and more than $34,000 in energy costs.
Sustainable design isn’t always about building new structures; sometimes it’s about smart renovations of the old. Rather than build a new facility, this Nevada complex saved money and protected habitat by purchasing an existing building. To make the building sustainable, they added a passive solar design, high energy conservation (thick wall and ceiling insulation, double-pane gas filled windows and more) and a solar water heater.
We still have a ways to go to get our carbon footprint to zero, but these project show that we are well on our way!