Grand Canyon, Ariz. — On January 15, 2013, at 10:30 am, the National Park Service will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Science and Resource Management building on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park across the street from Park Headquarters. Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga and other special guests will dedicate the new state of the art facility which is on track to receive a Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is a third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings and Platinum is the highest rating obtainable. This facility would be the 12th LEED certified building in the National Park Service and only the 6th LEED Platinum certified building in the National Park Service.
“We are committed to being a global leader in environmental sustainability”, stated Uberuaga. “The building was designed with numerous energy efficient and sustainable design aspects that include passive solar design for natural heating and cooling, use of natural day light, use of materials high in recycled content, and a highly efficient heating and cooling system with a super insulated building envelope.”
Funding for many of the green features was made possible through the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF), administered by the Grand Canyon Trust in partnership with Salt River Project and Tucson Electric Power. REIF grants provide matching funds for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in public buildings, community centers, and residences located within reservation lands in northern Arizona and New Mexico. This project qualified under the public building component.
“Through these valuable partnerships, we can accomplish great things in our national parks,” stated Uberuaga. “Funding provided through the Renewable Energy Investment Fund allowed us to include energy efficient lighting, a water conservation and efficiency system, and a photovoltaic system all of which will reduce energy and water use and, as a result, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
“We deeply appreciate Salt River Project’s and Tucson Electric Power’s commitment to clean and renewable energy and their partnership in support of the Renewable Energy Investment Fund,” stated Roger Clark, Grand Canyon Trust program director. “We were pleased to work with Grand Canyon National Park in investing in the new Science and Resource Management building. These new systems will dramatically reduce energy use, and interpretive displays will inform visitors about the building’s energy-smart technology.”
When open next month, the new Science and Resource Management building will have numerous displays and readily available scientific information and will be available and used as an outreach opportunity for the public, visitors from local and distant schools as well as volunteers and researchers that are members of the scientific community, coming to learn of and study Grand Canyon’s scientific relevance.
This new 8,800 square foot building will include 16 offices, 15 large and 21 small cubicle offices, a large conference and training room, two science labs, a weather station, and a visitor lobby.
Building design utilizes low flow fixtures, water efficient landscaping, solar energy through the use of photovoltaic panels, and rain and grey water collection. To maximize energy efficiency and reduce water usage, a secondary plumbing system was installed to collect rain and grey water for irrigation and use in disposal of wastewater saving up to 182,000 gallons of potable water per year and approximately 3,650 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of energy savings per year. Additionally the use of solar panels will provide a viable source of onsite renewable energy that is expected to generate 5,300 kWh of energy savings per year. A new video display in the building’s lobby will show real-time solar power generation and use, as well as rain and grey water collection and use, helping to educate and inspire park visitors and residents to practice conservation and sustainable practices at home.
Science and Resource Management staff is anxiously awaiting the dedication and opening of the new facility and will be on-hand to provide public tours throughout the day. The staff is currently co-located in antiquated facilities constructed in the 1960s and 1980s which were built to house maintenance and warehouse operations. The new facility provides professional space adjacent to a network of trails and nearby shuttle bus stops that will allow employees to walk, bike, or ride the park shuttle bus to and from work.