Green Spaces: Spring Creek Prairie
With a low profile that protects against windbreak and exterior coloring that matches big bluestem, a native grass, the new education building at the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center blends seamlessly into the tallgrass prairie that surrounds it.
However, the environmentally-friendly aspects of the new facility go way beyond aesthetics. Here are only a few of its innovative green features:
- The Center is oriented to maximize passive solar exposure; its roof overhangs block sun's rays in summer, allow rays in during winter. High efficiency heating and cooling systems and low-energy lighting were used throughout the building
- Salvaged metal, ceramic tiles and wood were all used in construction; old blackboards were transformed into countertops, and reclaimed crushed concrete became the parking lot, fire lane, and accessible trails.
- Straw bales were used to construct the walls; bamboo was used in trim and veneer, and sustainably harvested wood was used in construction.
- Insulation made of recycled cotton denim was used in walls while used carpet had a new life as carpet tiles. Recycled rubber and plastic milk jugs became floor mats, picnic tables, benches and more
- Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints used throughout building; Low flow urinals and toilets, Fly ash content in the concrete.
Because being green doesn't end with construction, the Center's ongoing conservation commitment includes on-site recycling of paper, glass, plastics, and metals, as well as the purchase of items that use recycled materials.
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