Energy Award Winning Rhode Island Refuge Visitor Center Opens
The Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Kettle Pond Visitor Center, which has been named a Federal Energy Saver Showcase for 2005, opened officially on Monday, October 24. A day of celebratory public activities was held Saturday, October 29.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program has recognized the building in Charlestown as part of its You Have the Power program, whose goal is to spread the word about saving energy costs and resources among federal workers.
The building’s sustainable design involved careful site planning, recycling, and energy and water conservation. Building materials used for the project included durable and long-lived recycled materials with no or low-emissions, such as engineered wood, plastic lumber, linoleum flooring, fiberboard, sheetrock, tile, bamboo flooring, and carpet with high recycled content.
Super insulation, energy-efficient lighting and windows, passive solar architecture, and a 40-ton renewable geothermal heat exchange system will help to save as much as 40 percent of traditional building energy costs. Low-flush toilets and flow restrictors minimize water use.
More than 100,000 people a year are expected to visit the center and learn about New England’s wildlife and coastal environments.