• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

We're LEED Platinum Certified!

A park ranger points to a LEED Platinum plaque in the Visitor Center.

What is LEED?

“LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is redefining the way we think about the places where we live, work and learn. As an internationally recognized mark of excellence, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.” - U.S. Green Building Council

The Visitor Center's innovative design earned a high enough score in the LEED credit categories to earn a “Platinum” Certification – the highest honor offered. The conversion of the old stable to the new Visitors Center was done with energy conservation, visitor health, and lower operating costs in mind: setting precedent for future buildings in the National Recreation Area.

The U.S. Green Building Council judged the Visitor Center on various Project Credit Categories. The five main categories are listed below.

Sustainable Site Credits:

Our Visitor Center earned these credits by renovating a pre-existing building, and infringing upon little or no additional ecosystem space.

Water Efficiency Credits:

To decrease potable water consumption, the Visitors Center uses recycled water for all irrigation and restrooms. Dry wells in the ground and bioswales in the
parking lot guide floodwater to dry ponds to reduce the
impacts of runoff into the nearby creek.

Adobalr walls help insulate the building and keep interior temperatures consistent.

Energy and Atmosphere Credits:

All power for the Interagency Visitor Center is provided by the solar panels on the roof and parking lot. Additional energy needs for heating and cooling are provided by a geothermal system. The two systems are so efficient the center produces more energy than it consumes!

Materials and Resources Credits:

More than 90% of the materials used in the building process were recycled. Aspects of the visitor’s center, such as the flooring and counter tops, were reused from the old stable or recycled materials. The thick adoblar (brick covered with stucco) walls are from local soil and keep the building well insulated.

Indoor environmental quality credits:

The building’s position and tubular skylights are utilized to utilize the maximum natural daylight possible. When additional light is needed, LED (light emitting diode) lights are used to use less electricity and emit less heat then conventional CFL (compact florescent lamp) or incandescent bulbs.

Indoor environmental quality credits:

The building’s position and tubular skylights are utilized to utilize the maximum natural daylight possible. When additional light is needed, LED (light emitting diode) lights are used to use less electricity and emit less heat then conventional CFL (compact florescent lamp) or incandescent bulbs.

Did You Know?

The city of Los Angeles can be seen from many scenic view points in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Comprising 153,075 acres, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the world's largest urban national park. It has more area codes (5) and zip codes (26), including the notable 90210 zip code of Beverly Hills, than any other unit in the National Park System.