Visitor center construction incorporated salvaged materials
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —Skylights, low-flow restroom fixtures, photovoltaics and efficient utility systems at the new Dinosaur National Monument visitor center all helped the National Park Service gain Gold-standard LEED certification for the facility.
The new Quarry Visitor Center boasts new “green” energy saving aspects, including increased water efficiency, reduced CO2emissions, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts,” said superintendent Mary Risser.
“We incorporated sustainability into the building’s design and construction and then the operation and maintenance of the building,” Risser said. “We salvaged materials from the demolished visitor center and shuttle waiting area.
“For example, the tongue and groove flooring in the old visitor center was salvaged and is now the ceiling in the new visitor center’s exhibit hall and auditorium. The stone walls at the shuttle waiting area were incorporated in the new visitor center’s exterior walls and masonry at the new visitor center. The cement blocks from the old visitor center were crushed and used for the trails around the new visitor center.”
Other components of the sustainable design involved using local materials; the stone for the masonry comes from a quarry in Masonville, Colorado and landscaping boulders from quarries in Maybell and on Blue Mountain. Native plants are being used for a water efficient landscaping. The Yellow cedar used in the large beams across the ceiling came from sustainable forests.
“One of the more unique sustainable features is that the base of an old railroad car is now the bridge between the parking lot and the new visitor center,” Risser explained. “We took an old railroad car, placed it on the bridge abutments, painted it, poured a walking surface, added railings, and finished the abutments with the same stone as was used on the exterior of the visitor center.
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands, renewable energy Tagged: | Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, Energy conservation, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED gold certification, national parks, sustainability