Wetland Discovery Point, the Utah Botanical Center's (UBC) newest teaching space, has been awarded Platinum LEED certification, becoming one of just a few buildings in the state to earn that distinction. LEED certification is an internationally recognized achievement in building design and construction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED certification rankings go from basic to silver, gold and platinum, each one recognizing successively higher levels of design and construction focused on energy savings, water efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, improved indoor air quality and stewardship of resources.
Wetland Discovery Point was designed by Salt Lake City-based ajc architects and built by Big-D Construction for the UBC, a project of Utah State University. The building's wing-like roof is visible from I-15 in Kaysville adjacent to the UBC ponds. It is the site of educational courses and field trips for adults and the thousands of school children who visit the center each year to learn about the importance of conservation and wetland ecosystems.
"It isn't often a client is willing to commit to the extra cost associated with achieving a LEED Platinum level of certification," said Derek Wilson, ajc's project architect. "It was a combined effort from a determined and committed owner to every engineer and subcontractor working on the project.
" Although it is a public space, Wetland Discovery Point showcases green design details that can be used in homes as well. The roof functions as both a rainwater collector and a tool to provide shade or allow winter sunlight into the building to warm it and provide abundant natural light. Harvested precipitation is stored in a cistern and used to irrigate part of the landscape and to flush low flow toilets. Much of the power used in the building will be solar generated, and solar-heated water flows through the building's heating system. Extensive use of windows connects visitors with the landscape and improves ventilation.
"Earning Platinum certification is an exciting step in our mission to demonstrate ways of living more sustainably," said UBC Director David Anderson. "We constantly explore opportunities to teach people of all ages about the importance of good stewardship and this building reflects that goal. We are very appreciative of the support we received from the university, the design team, the contractor and our donors."
Wetland Discovery Point is at 676 South 50 West, Kaysville. More details, including a slideshow of the building, are available online by visiting utahbotanicalcenter.org.
The UBC is a project of the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station and Utah State University Extension.