County opens water education center
Gwinnett County, Ga., has opened a new facility to teach residents about the importance of water management. The $16.6 million Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center is the county’s first “green” building, constructed with native materials and featuring a 40,000-square-foot sloped green roof that is planted with six species of drought-resistant flowering plants. The two-story, 59,000-square-foot facility draws non-potable reuse water from the nearby county wastewater treatment facility for use in air conditioning, irrigation and toilets.
The center includes a theater, hands-on science exhibits, a teaching laboratory and a multi-media conference room. Outside walkways and parking lots feature pervious paving, and vegetated bio-swales and constructed mini-wetlands help contain onsite surface runoff. A forest amphitheater, covered pavilions and trails complete the 233-acre site.