Swaner EcoCenter

The other day I was able to tour Swaner EcoCenter with the Salt Lake City Professional Chapter of Net Impact.  I took several pictures in an attempt to let you see everything I saw, so scroll down and make sure to visit the Swaner EcoCenter flickr set for more views.  Although I’m an amateur when it comes to taking photos, I hope you get the idea how impressive this building is.  It has beautiful woodwork, artful touches of 3form, and incredible views.  The folks behind Swaner are seeking to obtain the first LEED Platinum certification in Utah, but nonetheless, the building is the greenest in Utah. 

water efficiency model

Swaner is a nonprofit that protects 1200 acres of incredible open space surrounding the EcoCenter.  Using the EcoCenter as a platform, Swaner will also provide programming for people of all ages and try to inspire a deep respect for the natural world.  Here are a few quick hits relating to the building’s green accomplishments:

  • 53.4% energy cost savings over the energy code
  • 12.5% renewable energy provided by PV and solar thermal
  • 77.7% construction waste was diverted from landfills
  • 24.6% of the cost of materials came from recycled content
  • 13% of materials originated from local sources
  • 69.5% of the wood costs is FSC certified
  • 79.13% of all occupied spaces have natural daylight
  • 94.69% have direct line of sight to outside views
  • 82% reduction of indoor water use and zero potable water for sewage conveyance

Below is some personal commentary on various aspects of the building. 


3form is very active in the local community and provided materials for use in this project.  I want to say that the wood below is Kirei, but I’m not positive.  The clear panel is all 3form.  I bet you could really do some damage by combining LED lighting and Chroma panels


This was an impressive way to recognize partners and donors.  The donor board is made with 3form pieces of various colors.  I like the quote: "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world: Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead



Check out this beautiful, horizontal woodwork.  It’s almost like a cattle guard or something, but the wall leads visitors into the great room of the EcoCenter. 


Swaner manages and protects 1200 acres of land.  It’s an incredible asset to Park City, I believe. 


I decided to wander outside a little bit, there’s a deck that wraps the back side of the EcoCenter. 


That’s what I see to my right.  There are birds out there singing and chilling out.  Do I need to say more as to why I moved to Salt Lake City?  You can’t beat this beauty. 


Lots of windows and minimization of water-intense turf. 


I’m looking directly up at the lookout.  That horizontal cladding both adds texture to the building and provides a little shade from direct sunlight inside the stairwell to the top. 


I’m walking inside to go to the top of the lookout and there’s a denim insulation truth window.  I guess everyone does these now?


See what I mean about that exterior, horizontal cladding, you can still see out.


Looking down, I catch a photo of the huge water tank.  I like the lines. 


Inside the 10,000 sf facility there’s a conference room with this 3form blackboard.  It’s a pretty good idea, right?  I think it would work even better if the wall was a lighter shade, but I like the idea to use 3form like this. 


[+] Photo Gallery: Swaner EcoCenter Nature Preserve