Two newly constructed facilities in the park demonstrate how new and old technologies can combine to create a truly sustainable building.
The Visitor Center, designed by Park Service staff and the National
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a facility that was designed to be both green and cost-effective. It incorporates numerous sustainable features like proper site design and orientation; partial earth sheltering, thermal massing, and light-colored roofing, solar panels and a solar hot water heater; a ground-source heat pump; solar tubes, light shelves, clerestories, and light sensors; efficient ventilation systems; and sustainable finishes, and furnishings. It did not cost any more to construct than a “standard” building, yet the park benefits from a 70% reduction in energy consumption and a 51% cost savings over a comparably-sized standard building.
Another form of sustainability is adaptive reuse - the ultimate recycling project.
Zion Canyon Visitor Center
Using the same process the former Visitor Center was converted to the park’s new Human History Museum and administrative headquarters. In this case adaptive reuse saved the cost of new construction, while responding to the park’s growing needs. Solar tubes, recycled furnishings, and “green” finishes and furnishings made the spaces more user-friendly and sustainable.
Did You Know?
During the summer or fall, you may see a tarantula crossing a road or trail in Zion National Park. But don’t be frightened-- tarantulas are actually amazing arachnids--gentle, basically harmless creatures that have suffered a bum rap. More...