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Contact: Sue Walter, 520-387-6849
Ajo, Arizona - Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is working with the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture to perform energy audits of all park structures and provide an analysis to reduce future energy uses and needs. The goal of the three year project is for the park to use alternative energy sources such as solar and wind and modifying building to be more energy efficient to meet all or most of the park’s energy needs.
UofA completed the energy audit of the Kris Eggle Visitor Center and the students and faculty presented a demonstration of techniques, ideas, and modeling concepts in the fall of 2015. The analysis for the visitor center was provided is the spring of 2016 which includes methodologies and technologies specific to the Park's situation in this area of the Sonoran Desert. In September 2016 students concentrated their efforts on five park houses and will present their results to the park management in the next couple months.
The analysis will help the park implement strategies to produce as much energy, or more than required, making the Park’s energy use and foot-print a net zero. The students are challenged with developing methodologies and technologies that meet the Standards for Historic Preservation as the park is has been nominated Mission 66 National Register of Historic Places district. The unique standards are giving the students an opportunity to work with the UofA’s Drachman Institute Heritage Conservation Program.
Park managers will meet with the UofA team again this fall for an update of progress and ideas. Future work will be to complete the housing area and start work on the campground, and remaining facilities.