Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center Receives Recognition
Contact: Betty Lieurance, 970-529-4608
The U.S. Department of Energy honored the National Park Service with a 2013 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for the Visitor and Research Center at Mesa Verde National Park. The new building opened to the public in December 2012 and offers visitor services and serves as a research and curatorial facility for the park.
The Visitor and Research Center is a high-performance sustainable building that demonstrates the use of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, recycling, and environmentally preferable materials to fulfill critical needs for park operations. The facility recently received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council, a technically difficult feat because the building serves more than 570,000 park visitors each year, and houses more than three million artifacts requiring strict environmental controls.
In addition, the surrounding landscape design achieved certification from the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™), a comprehensive rating system for sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of built landscapes.
The ecologically sensitive landscape design surrounding the building serves as an extension of the facility to educate the public about the archeological, biological, and physical resources of the park. The design directs stormwater through vegetated swales and retention ponds, and the area was revegetated with a mix of native and drought tolerant plants.
The project was managed by the Denver Service Center, the central planning, design, and construction management office for the National Park Service. Representatives from the 24 tribes associated with Mesa Verde contributed to the building and exhibits design. The design fabrication and installation was managed by the Harpers Ferry Center, the central interpretive media and exhibits office for the National Park Service.
For a complete listing of all of the 2013 Federal Energy and Water Management Award winners, visit: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/services/awards_fewm2013.html.
For more information about the Sustainable Sites Initiative, visit their website at: http://www.sustainablesites.org/media/press-08-13-13.php.
Did You Know?
Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park. It has 150 rooms, plus an additional 75 open areas. Twenty-one of the rooms are kivas, and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features. The number of Ancestral Puebloans living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 to 120.