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U.S. Department of the Interior
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Honorable Mentions

Curry Village Employee Housing Project Design Team, Yosemite National Park, NPS, California

Bill Delaney, Division of Project Management
Yosemite National Park, NPS

An integrated team of architects, engineers, and landscape architects – many of whom are LEED accredited professionals – was hired in 2002 for the planning and design of the concessionaire housing.  Working with the National Park Service and concessionaire, goals of creating a sustainable project were established that would integrate into the natural and cultural setting, address visitor access, and create a positive atmosphere for employees.
The final program included the following elements:

  • Twenty-two structures housing employee living spaces;

  • Four mixed use buildings, with common use spaces on such as laundry, lounges, and kitchens on the first floors and living spaces on the second floor;

  • A wellness center with fitness and activity areas, a post office, a housing office, and a recreation office; and

  • A small building providing additional employee storage space.

The design of the complex draws largely from the surrounding historic and natural features, and integrates many sustainable design practices and energy efficient strategies.

Farallon National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Management System Team, Fish and Wildlife Service, California

Mendel Stewart
San Francisco Bay NWR Complex, FWS
(510) 792-0222

The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is located 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco, CA.  It is made up of a group of rocky and steep islands, with land area totaling 211 acres.  The largest island, Southeast Farallon Island, houses a small field station comprised of six vintage buildings and a lighthouse, dating back to the late 1800's.  There are four to eight personnel on the island at a given time.

Significant effort is required to access Southeast Farallon Island.  There is no docking facilities and all equipment, supplies and personnel are transferred by a challenging, time consuming process involving a stiff-legged derrick and a personnel lifting device called a Billy Pugh, and then mechanically lifted approximately 25 feet onto the island.

To overcome the logistical obstacles of supporting and maintaining staff and the many resources as well as protecting the environment, the Refuge working with cooperative relationships, have initiated innovative approaches, techniques and technologies that provide outstanding environmental leadership.

The Refuge exemplifies best practices minimizing energy use by using a photo voltaic hybrid power system for all island use; self-sufficient water system; installation of a AdvanTex wastewater treatment system that recycles 50% of the wastewater for toilet usage; installation of a Sun Mar 200 continuous compacter for garbage recycling; use of recycled plastic lumber for boardwalks, including designed spacing, which provides nesting crevices for seabirds; selecting recyclable materials and organic foods for island-bound supplies; eliminating unnecessary packing materials; recycling all metal, plastic and glass that is taken off-island; and burning non-recyclable paper and cardboard on the island to reduce the amount that goes to mainland landfills.

The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge exemplifies effective and innovative practices to implement environmental stewardship and management.

Guest Services, Inc., Construction of the Food Concession Kiosk at The Lincoln Memorial, National Mall & Memorial Parks, National Park Service Concessioner, District of Columbia

Guest Services, Inc.

Guest Services Incorporated, concessionaire of the National Park Service, is proud to nominate our recently constructed Lincoln Memorial kiosks located on Henry Bacon Drive and Daniel French Drive, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial in the National Mall & Memorial Parks for the National Park Service's Environmental Achievement (NPS EA) Award.  The two 4,600 square foot facilities were started in 2005. The first kiosk was completed in September 2006; the second was completed in July of 2007.  Both buildings were designed by Oehrlein & Associates Architects under the supervision and approval of Guest Services, Inc., the National Park Service, and Capital Fine Arts.

Our cooperative efforts have resulted in exciting energy conservation achievements.  We respectfully are seeking a nomination in the category of Sustainable Energy Practices for the 2008 NPS EA Awards.  At Guest Services, we take great pride in being good stewards of our land assignments and being able to think outside the box in order to preserve our natural resources, while working with our partners in the National Mall & Memorial Parks.

Initially, we planned to utilize a closed loop geo-thermal system for the heating and air conditioning system.  During the design process we recognized there were additional applications for this system that could result in substantial reductions in the water usage at these facilities by incorporating the system into the walk-in freezer, refrigerator, and the ice machine.

The design team used a combination of proven techniques to design flexible, energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems.  The heating and air conditioning systems do not utilize unsightly external condensers or water cooled systems and will ensure occupant comfort and indoor air quality with low energy consumption and almost no environmental impact.  The heat from the air conditioning and refrigeration systems are transferred into the closed-loop systems through heat exchangers attached to the condensers.  The heat from these condensers is removed from the building and equipment through the use of geo-thermal heat pumps.  The pumping system uses variable frequency drives, automatic balancing, and isolation valves to reduce pumping costs (pumps operate at a ninety-six percent efficiency rate).

Sustainable Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Center and Administrative Building Project Team, Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon

Mari Jilbert, Project Manager,
Division of Engineering, FWS  

The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Center and Headquarters Office project exemplifies best practices of sustainable design by minimizing energy use, making efficient use of resources, and sensitively responding to the site.  The project includes features in all Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) categories; innovation and design process, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.  An analysis indicated that it would attain an equivalent rating of LEED Silver.

The building's low profiles and location were designed to reduce impacts on wildlife and adjacent sensitive habitats.  Both buildings use a central atrium to flood the interior with natural light to reduce artificial lighting.  Conservation features include: super-insulated exterior precast concrete walls; Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) roof; Solarban 60 solar control Low-E exterior windows; high efficiency Energy Star heat pumps, exhaust fans, and exhaust system; "green tip" T-8 lamps, electronic ballasts, timers, light dimming system, and occupancy sensors; engineered wood to reduce depletion of forests; low or no VOC paints; steel rebar with high recycled content; low-flush toilets; automatic water faucets; pervious pavers, gravel roads, and pervious concrete; and local and recycled materials.  Additionally, 90% of all construction waste was recycled.

The Wildlife Center features exhibits on wetlands, wise resource management, and good environmental stewardship.  Refuge outreach efforts use this project as an example of what is reasonable and achievable in "green building".  It is anticipated this project will encourage others to adopt sustainable building methods, resulting in greater conservation and a more livable environment.

National Wildlife Health Center Environmental Management Team, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin

Leslie A. Dierauf, Project Manager, USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) is a biomedical laboratory dedicated to assessing the impact of disease on wildlife and providing information on wildlife health, both nationally and internationally.  As a result of this wildlife health mission and the acknowledgement that the quality of the environment plays a large role in that health, NWHC has been committed, since its inception, to working in the most environmentally friendly way possible.  NWHC has equipment and multiple programs that could become environmental hazards if not managed properly.  These include hazardous chemicals, Biosafety Level 3 laboratories, underground storage tanks, and two pathology solid waste incinerators.  All of these require close monitoring by the NWHC and other Federal and State agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).   The NWHC has had an active environmental program for over 20 years and has recently incorporated the new Executive Order 13423 into its Environmental Management System (EMS).  NWHC self-declared its EMS in July 2008, being the first USGS entity to do so.

Greg Owens, Wilna Lodge Modular Building, Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Fish and Wildlife Service, Virginia

Greg Owens
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, FWS
(757) 721-2412

Greg Owens, a maintenance worker for the U.S. Fish & wildlife Service is a true environmental leader.  When Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge needed to replace an unserviceable  multipurpose building with a modular building, Greg seized the opportunity to make the new facility as green as possible.  With the support of management, he took the initiative to incorporate sustainable elements into the design of the 1906 square-foot building to be used for a classroom, meeting room, and intern lodging.

Greg's enthusiasm for promoting sustainable features in the Wilna Lodge was contagious.  Due to his efforts and those of his colleagues, the Willa Lodge modular building has the following customized green elements.

  • Natural Ventilation and Programmable Thermostats: Operable windows allow for outside air to be used for passive cooling, reducing use of fossil fuels and connecting occupants with outdoor temperatures and humidity cycles.  Programmable thermostats provide automated temperature control.

  • Energy-Efficient Windows: These windows help minimize heat loss.

  • Daylight and Energy-Efficient Lighting: Many spaces were designated with access to natural light and views to the refuge, connecting occupants to the environment and minimizing energy use required by artifical lighting, which is provided by energy efficient flourescent lighting.

  • Composite Lumber Deck: A deck made from composite lumber containing recycled plastic provides outdoor space immediately adjacent to the building.

  • Flooring from Rapid Renewable Wood: Flooring is made from bamboo, a fast growing renewable source.

Blue Ridge Parkway Sustainable Destination Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, National Park Service, North Carolina

Terry McElrath
Blue Ridge Parkway, NPS

In 2003, the Blue Ridge Parkway approved its Environmental Management System (EMS).  The EMS establishes a review process that enables the park to determine where improvements in sustainability, greening, and environmental education can be made.  When funding was received in 2004 to begin the design work for the new Destination Center (a visitor center), the groundwork laid by the EMS process led the park to pursue a building designed to meet the standard for LEED "Gold" certification.

The building includes 12,000 square feet in a two-story structure designed to fit into the landscape by providing visitors both a view of distant mountains and a feeling of being blended into the forest surrounding the site.  The building features a host of sustainable design strategies, including:

  • A 10,000 square foot green roof is planted with drought tolerant, native plants.

  • The building utilizes a day-lighting concept to reduce the amount of electricity needed for lighting.  Overhangs on the building are covered with recycled content aluminum to help bring the natural light into the building, even on cloudy days.

  • Visitors learn about the building's green features through onsite programs and building tours and through the distribution of the attached brochure, "LEED, What Does It Mean?"

  • Use of natural materials purchased within a 500-mile radius which minimized transportation costs, reduced green house gases, and aided the local economy.

  • Scrap construction materials were sorted, weighed, and removed from the site to be recycled.

  • An HVAC system that uses an energy recovery unit to transfer heat from air exhausted out of the building to air entering the building in the winter.  In summer, the energy recovery unit pulls moisture out of the air that enters the building.  This technology will result in significant energy use reduction throughout the life of the building.

  • Photo sensors that turn on lights only when there is not enough natural light available.

  • Occupancy sensors that ensure lights are turned off when no one is in the offices or bathrooms.

  • Operable windows in the offices and the exhibit hall.

  • A storm water runoff system that captures rainwater in two different ways.  The first is a cistern to capture water for use in watering the green roof and landscape plantings.  The second is directing water from the parking lots into a bioswale from which it is then filtered and seeps into the groundwater.

  • Use of:

    • Zero VOC paint and sealants.

    • Young growth cedar siding

    • Glued laminated wood trusses in exhibit

Big Bend Resorts, LLC, Big Bend Resorts Recycling and Green Purchasing Programs, Big Bend National Park, National Park Service, Texas

Big Bend Resorts, LLC

Big Bend Resorts, a Forever Resorts property, concessioner providing lodging, food and beverage, retail, gas station and other associated visitor services within Big Bend National park, implemented an aggressive recycling program.  In 2004 that was estimated to extend the life expectancy of the Park's landfill by 30 years.  Concessioner recycling efforts resulted in close to 62,000 pounds of materials being recycled in 2007, including:

  • 36,479 pounds cardboard

  • 1,775 pounds cooking grease/oil

  • 14,511 pounds glass

  • 6,303 pounds plastics

  • 2,449 pounds scrap metal

  • 67 pounds dry cell batteries

In an effort to encourage guests and employees to recycle, Big Bend Resorts provided convenient recycling containers around the Chisos Mountains Lodge property, in each guest room, at each retail location and in employee housing.  In 2007, Big Bond Resorts dedicated an employee to work in the recycling program full time.  This employee also contributes 32 hours weekly at the Park's recycling center, assisting with the transporting, unloading, sorting, bundling, stacking, and crushing of recyclables.

Bug Bend Resorts has instituted programs serving water and electricity, as well as a green purchasing policy reducing use of hazardous products and increasing the use of renewable, resuable, recyclable, and recycled-content materials.  only environmentally friendly products are used in all operational areas, from food and beverage operations, to housekeeping, retail and facilities maintenance.

The Park-Big Bend Resorts partnership has worked to both the advantage of the park and the concessionaire to support and aggressive recycling and environmental protection program. in a remote area such as Big Bend National Park.

Going-to-the-Sun Road Transportation System
, Transit Implementation Team, Glacier National Park, National Park Service, Montana

Transit Implementation Team

The team had to construct a $4.5 million transit center in nine months, purchase 22 Sprinter buses and 8 larger capacity buses, develop a cooperative agreement with the State of Montana and Flathead County for operations, hire up to 80 qualified drivers, develop signage and informational exhibits, and ensure that a robust communications strategy got the message out to the visitors.

On July 01, 2007, transportation services began in Glacier National Park.  The service began on schedule, the Apgar Transit Center was constructed on time and within budget to a Gold LEED standard, temporary provisions were implemented at St. Mary Visitor Center, transit stops were in place, informational exhibits were completed and the communications strategy implemented. This was achieved despite atrocious winter weather impacting the construction of the transit center, the delayed deliver of the larger capacity buses which did not show up until the last day of operations and the utilization of "loaner" buses from Yellowstone National Park that had 1/3 the capacity of the larger buses.

From July 01, 2007 through September 03, 2007 the transportation system moved 132,093 park visitors and logged 335,632 miles.  The system reduced recorded traffic levels at Logan Pass Visitor center between 18%-25% exceeding the projected requirements.   The Sprinter buses averaged 21 miles per gallon, over four times the anticipated mileage used in the transportation analysis for the transit vehicles.  The system operated within the pro-forma requirements of $870,000. Based on a visitor vehicle capacity of 2.9 persons per vehicle this eliminated approximately 45,549 vehicles (680 per day of operations).   Conservatively assuming that the vehicle would make a one way trip across the fifty mile corridor and with an average vehicle mileage of 15 mpg this saved approximately 2,277,300 vehicle miles, 151,820 gallons of fuel and eliminated approximately 2.6 million pounds of carbon monoxide from the atmosphere including the fuel used by the transit system.

Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks, NPS Concessioner California and Montana

Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts

In Yosemite National Park, Delaware North operates the lodging, retail, food and beverage, maintenance and transportation operations. In Yellowstone, Delaware North operates the retail concessions at the General Stores, providing visitors with a variety of products and services, including apparel, books, jewelry, souvenirs, gifts, sporting goods, groceries, digital photo processing and food. Given the large numbers of visitors and employees who visit, work in and live in the parks each year, and the extensive products and services Delaware North provides, waste is generated in massive quantities.

Fortunately, both of these operations have programs for recycling and diversion of waste from the solid waste stream. The success of these two recycling programs in 2007 is evidence of the soundness of GreenPath®, Delaware North's Environmental Management System (EMS), as well as employee involvement, guest awareness, business partner awareness and related activities.