NTBG wins LEED award

SUBHEAD: Botanical Research Center is first building certified on Kauai.    By John Letman on 20 January 2009 for NTBG www.ntbg.org The non-profit National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) announced today that its new Botanical Research Center at Kalaheo headquarters has been awarded LEED® Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This makes it not only the first gold building on Kaua`i, but the first structure ever on the island to be certified by USGBC under The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.
image above: the Julia Rice Wichman Botanical Research Center. Photo by Jon Letman “LEED is a whole new way of looking at construction, how we use resources and reduce associated waste,” said NTBG Director and Chief Executive Officer Chipper Wichman. “The implications go far beyond the building itself and have the potential to influence people in all spheres. Conservation of natural resources and protection of the environment is integral to NTBG's mission, so building green just made perfect sense to us.” The two-story structure, with 20,000 square-feet of interior space, is the fourth building of the organization’s headquarters campus. It houses its herbarium (dried plant specimens used for research), an extensive botanical library, a seminar room, and laboratories for scientists and field biologists. It contains such “green features” as a rooftop photovoltaic system, rain catchment and storage systems, clerestory windows, and certified sustainable reclaimed tropical hardwoods that would otherwise have gone into landfills. The surrounding landscape was designed toward conservation of resources, as well as native plants, by using drought-tolerant species, and there is an electric car recharging station and gravelpave permeable-surface walkways. USGBC’s rating system is an internationally recognized feature-oriented rating system awarded to buildings that satisfy specified green building criteria. Projects must be registered with the Council and, after completion of construction, extensive documentation proving criteria have been met is submitted by the property owner for Council review. NTBG was notified that it had met LEED Gold criteria just 13 days shy of the Center’s one-year anniversary of its completion blessing. “NTBG’s Botanical Research Center efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come,” said USGBC’s President, CEO, and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi. The Botanical Research Center was designed by architect Dean Sakamoto and built by Unlimited Construction Services, Inc. It will be dedicated as the Juliet Rice Wichman Botanical Research Center, in memory of one of the institution’s early Trustees and founders, in mid-February when NTBG’s governing board meets. For more information, the Garden’s website contains information about the Center at brc.ntbg.org. Media contact: Janet L. Leopold, NTBG Headquarters, administration@ntbg.org or Jon Letman, jletman@ntbg.org; main website: www.ntbg.org

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