Sunday, January 18, 2009

Garden center is Hawai'i's latest LEED green building

The National Tropical Botanical Garden's new building, which houses its library, herbarium and research areas, is now certifiably the greenest building on Kaua'i, and one of the most environmentally sensitive in the state.

(Images: Botanical Research Center photo by Jon Letman, NTBG. The LEED Gold logo is owned by the U.S. Green Building Council.)

The garden's Botanical Research Center has been granted LEED Gold certification, the first Kaua'i structure to receive any rating under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.

The building was designed and built to achieve the LEED standard. It stores rainwater from its roof, has a photovoltaic system, includes natural lighting to reduce the need for electric lights, uses reclaimed materials, has drought-tolerant landscaping to reduce irrigation needs, its walkways are permeable concrete to reduce storm runoff, and there's even an electric car recharging station.

“LEED is a whole new way of looking at construction, how we use resources and reduce associated waste. The implications go far beyond the building itself and have the potential to influence people in all spheres,” said NTBG Director and Chief Executive Officer Chipper Wichman.”

The LEED certification requires an extensive audit, and the notice of the Gold standard award comes nearly a year after the blessing for the building, which is actively in use.

The center, which will be dedicated as the Juliet Rice Wichman Botanical Research Center, was designed by architect Dean Sakamoto and built by Unlimited Construction Services, Inc.
For more information, see the garden website .

©2009 Jan TenBruggencate

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