Wetland Discovery Point Takes Platinum

Utah-botanical-day

This newly constructed 3,200 square-foot building, Wetland Discovery Point, is the third LEED Platinum certified structure in the state of Utah, making it one of the greenest buildings around.  WDP is part of the Utah Botanical Center of Utah State University and provides an indoor / outdoor learning experience for over 4,000 school children each year.  The building was designed by ajc architects and built by Big-D Construction, and here are some of its green elements:

  • Butterfly roof for rainwater collection;
  • Rainwater collection used for toilets/landscaping;
  • Drought tolerant, native landscaping;
  • Radiant floor heating and cooling;
  • 30% more openings for natural ventilation;
  • 10-ft high trombe wall to collect passive solar heat;
  • Low-water use fixtures and plumbing;
  • On-site solar panels for green power;
  • Rooftop solar water heating for showers, sinks, radiant floor;
  • 95% of the construction waste was recycled;
  • Use of FSC-certified woods and low VOC products; and
  • High recycled content materials used throughout. 

Eventually, combining the passive solar design features, together with the solar thermal and solar panels, the Wetland Discovery Center intends to be net zero energy.  It's a stunning, modern example of cutting-edge sustainable design. 

Wetland-discovery-exterior

Rainwater-reclamation

Utah-botanical-trombe

Utah-botanical-inter

Photo credits: ajc architects (1, 2, & 4); Utah Botanical Center (others).


  • http://www.dubrowenterprises.com/ Justin

    How can you be built on Wetlands and get LEED Platinum?

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Excellent question. I haven’t seen the LEED Checklist, but you’re referencing, I assume, SSc1 and habitat land and/or land within 100 feet/setback distances of wetlands. I’ll see if I can follow up on this. Certainly we know that SSc1 isn’t a prerequisite …

      • http://www.dubrowenterprises.com/ Justin

        Yes I was referencing SSc1. My mistake I thought it was a pre-requisite I had to look it up again.

  • http://mportlandhomes.com/ M Realty

    Looks great. Seems only natural that a botanical center and other places like it would be the first to jump on the green building zero footprint bandwagon. Not to mention they get their plants watered for free now.

  • Anonymous

    I knew it wasn’t a prereq, but my first thought when I saw this was, “well, they certainly didn’t get the SSc1 point!” There’s no way it’s 100 feet from wetlands.

    Nevertheless, very impressive.

  • LenMinNJ

    It’s an admirable effort, but shouldn’t a key goal for every new structure be to reduce energy usage, and not just make its energy source renewable or from alternative sources? Doesn’t designing for a Passive House certification make sense in addition to LEED Platinum?

    All that glass (which maxes out at an “R” value of around 11) means that heating and cooling will take lots of energy.

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