Neosho National Fish Hatchery Visitor Center
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Missouri
Point of ContactDavid Hendrix
The Neosho National Fish Hatchery was established in 1888 and is the oldest operating federal fish hatchery. It raises endangered pallid sturgeon for recovery efforts in the lower Missouri River, rainbow trout for stocking in Lake Taneycomo, supports conservation of the endangered Ozark cavefish, and restoration of native mussels. The Visitor Center is architecturally designed to mimic the original headquarters from 1888. This federal hatchery is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-rated. Energy conservation measures used throughout the building combine to yield energy performance at least 34 percent better than an average building. The 3.36 kilowatt (kW) net-metered solar photovoltaic (PV) array produces 4.8 megawatt hours (MWH) per year of renewable electric power, which helps save 42 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. Low-volatile organic compound emitting carpets, paints, and adhesives provide a healthy indoor work environment and many building elements are composed of recycled materials. Low-flow plumbing conserves 28,225 gallons of water annually and water-efficient landscaping such as native plants and forbs eliminate the need for irrigation. Storm water containment and drainage swales help to maximize water conservation. Recently completed solar water heaters save 26 metric tons of greenhouse gas annually. Four 50 watt solar panels are used to recharge batteries used in the automatic feeders, offsetting an additional 360 kWh of electricity.
The Neosho NFH was established in 1888 and is the oldest operating federal fish hatchery. The hatchery encompasses approximately 18 acres in the heart of the town of Neosho, Missouri, due to availability of excellent-quality spring water. It raises endangered pallid sturgeon for recovery efforts in the lower Missouri River and rainbow trout for stocking in Lake Taneycomo. It supports conservation of the endangered Ozark cavefish and restoration of native mussels. The Visitor Center is architecturally designed to mimic the original headquarters from 1888, which featured similar onion dome and witches hat roof styles.
Many energy efficiency design strategies were realized in the finished construction. The super-insulated building (R-38 in ceilings and the roof; R-19 in exterior walls; and R-11 in interior walls) retains thermal mass. Passive solar architecture reduces heating and cooling loads and operating costs. The building's orientation, floor plan, and window locations were strategically placed for maximum daylighting and scenic views. Energy efficiency is accelerated with low-e glazed, double-hung, aluminum-clad operable windows that are easy to maintain, while minimizing solar heat and maximizing visible light. A lighting control system including occupancy sensors, daylight sensors, timers, and dimmers, together with energy-efficient fluorescent, task, and LED lighting, minimize energy used for artificial lighting. Closed-loop geothermal wells provide 60-degree glycol to zoned ground-source heat pumps (31.13 tons) controlled by individual thermostats that ensure thermal comfort for heating and cooling of fresh supply air. Mechanical ventilation is treated separately by an energy recovery unit that contributes to energy savings. All of these energy conservation measures combine to yield energy performance at least 34% better than an average building. In addition, a net-metered, grid-tied, 16-panel 3.36 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof produces 4.818 MWH of renewable electric power. Site lighting is kept to minimum levels required for safety. Outside light fixtures that direct light downward were chosen to ensure the visual access to the night sky and prevent disruption of nocturnal animal habitat (dark sky principles).
The facility was built using environmentally friendly, regionally extracted and manufactured "natural" materials including Hardie-Plank fiber cement siding, wood framing not from old growth forests, a long-life, standing-seam metal "cool" roof, and marmoleum flooring. Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting carpets, paints, and adhesives provide a healthy indoor environment. Building elements were selected for high recycled content, such as: steel rebar, insulation, acoustical ceiling tiles, carpet, ceramic tile, and restroom partitions. Polished, stained concrete floors with attractive stainless steel fish inlays reduce maintenance. The exterior deck is made of recycled waste materials. Low-flow plumbing conserves 28,225 gallons of water annually. Using hatchery spring water for large aquariums eliminates the need to de-chlorinate potable city water. Water-efficient landscaping with native plants and forbs avoids chemical use and irrigation. Stormwater containment and drainage swales conserve more water. Concrete drives and paths minimize the heat island effect compared to asphalt.
Results and Achievements
The total project cost $3.8 million. The building's energy performance is at least 34% more efficient than The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2004 requirements. The 3.36 kW solar PV array produces 4.818 MWH of renewable electric power. The 31.13 ton geothermal heat pump produces at least 65.44 million BTUs of thermal energy. As such, the total power generated by the geothermal heat pump and the solar PV system is approximately 81.9 million BTUs. The total energy savings compared to an average building is approximately 158.8 million BTUs per year. Over a 20-year period, the estimated lifecycle energy savings would be 3,176 million BTUs. The estimated lifecycle renewable energy production of the solar PV system alone would be 96.4 MWH. The total renewable energy production over 20 years would be 1,638 million BTUs. Recently completed solar water heaters on two palid sturgeon culture buildings produce an estimated 112.1 MBTU saving 26 metric tons of greenhouse gas annually. Four 50 watt Solar panels are used to recharge batteries used in automatic feeders, offsetting an additional 360 kWh of electricity. The total energy cost saved in 2012 was $5,257. The building's potable water use is reduced more than 40% below baseline standards. Low flow toilets, urinals, and fixtures were used throughout the building to conserve water. Although actual water use will vary based on the number of visitors, the baseline typical water use is calculated to be 69,154 gallons per year, and the design case water use is calculated to be 40,929 gallons per year. This shows a water savings of 28,225 gallons per year and a cost savings of $4,234 per year. Green construction methods that conserved water and energy diverted over 114 tons of on-site generated construction waste from local landfills -- an astonishing 80.3% -- by reusing, salvaging, and recycling construction materials.
The project avoids greenhouse gas emissions of 42 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents annually. Operable windows allow outside air to be used for passive cooling, reducing fossil fuel use and connecting occupants with outdoor temperature and humidity cycles. Daylighted office and classroom spaces minimize energy use required by artificial lights while providing views of the hatchery grounds. Bicycle racks support alternative transportation. Non-toxic materials and formaldehyde-free products were selected to avoid ozone-depleting compounds, produce no VOC emissions, and prevent harmful off-gassing of pollutants. Indoor air quality was tested prior to occupancy.
Approximately 20% of the total building materials' content was manufactured using recycled materials. In addition, 29.4% of the total building materials' value is comprised of materials and products that have been extracted, processed, and manufactured regionally within 500 miles of the project site.
Implementation of a stormwater management plan reduces impervious cover, promotes infiltration, and captures and treats the stormwater runoff from 90% of the average annual rainfall using acceptable best management practices. An abandoned fish pond was used as a stormwater collection/retention pond for runoff by re-grading and planting aquatic vegetation.
The Visitor Center project implements the FWS Climate Change Engagement Goal by communicating our outstanding achievements to others. Although this popular project was a one-of-a-kind design that was advocated by the Friends of the Neosho NFH, the lessons learned will be used at least at several other future projects in the Midwest Region, such as the Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District Headquarters Building, Michigan, the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Headquarters Building, Illinois, and the Port Louisa NWR Headquarters Building, Iowa, and have been shared with other FWS Regions and Department of the Interior bureaus.
The Visitor Center is supported and used by over 30,000 students per year and many local organizations, including Walmart, the City of Neosho, the Neosho Chamber of Commerce, Crowder College, the Banker's Association, the Division of Family Services, and the Friends of the Neosho NFH. During construction, the City of Neosho paid over $10,000 to erect brown signs on the freeway directing visitors to the hatchery. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) mounted a plaque on the building in recognition of its achievements. The FWS signed a net metering agreement with Empire Electric Company, who helped arrange right-of-way and meter locations, and is considering a rebate for the solar PV system. More than 100,000 visitors per year will learn about the benefits of this attractive and sustainable green building, while learning about various types of fish and their habitats and the history of the fish restoration work done at the hatchery.