Conservancy of Southwest Florida achieves LEED Gold Certification on newly constructed maintenance facility
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has achieved LEED Gold Certification for the design and construction of a 2,400-square-foot maintenance building located on the Conservancy campus at 1450 Merrihue Dr. in Naples. The building was completed in March 2011 and is one of six building projects on the Conservancy Nature Center campus being submitted to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for LEED certification. Since the other buildings are still under renovation or construction, they are awaiting certifications. All contractors working on the project have achieved or are pursuing personal LEED accreditation.
LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. To achieve LEEDcertification, the design team and the construction manager work together to accomplish design and construction practices and guidelines provided by the USGBC. Certain criteria must be met and points are assigned in the following categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design Process.
The maintenance facility includes a specialized work area, storage, office spaces and restroom facilities. Highlights of the facility’s sustainable design elements include fresh-air ventilation, daylight harvesting to supplement artificial lighting, the use of locally sourced construction materials and highly efficient geothermal cooling systems. The cost of the facility is $250,000.
“The design and build of the maintenance facility demonstrate that sustainable building practices can be incorporated within a conservative budget and can easily integrate into a variety of commercial design plans,” says Curtis Cafiso, director of business operations and technology at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “As an environmental organization, we are focused on how our new Nature Center will operate as a whole – our energy use, protecting our water quality, reducing consumption and maximizing renewable resources. We are proud to achieve this certification and it is our goal that our building practices will serve as a model for other commercial projects at a variety of sizes, costs and project scope.”
The Conservancy “green team” includes Conservancy of Southwest Florida scientists, naturalists and other staff, Cambridge 7 Associates, Heatherwood Construction, Hole Montes, Keith Predmore Consulting/Neugreen LLC and L-Architecture. The late Larry Warner served as the original lead architect.
While the Conservancy Nature Center is currently closed for renovations, a variety of special programs, including daily cruises of Rookery Bay aboard the Good Fortune II, continue to operate. A phased-in reopening is planned during 2012. Visit www.conservancy.org for more information and updates.
About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:The Conservancy of Southwest Florida began in 1964 when community leaders came together to defeat a proposed “Road to Nowhere” and spearheaded the acquisition and protection of Rookery Bay. The Conservancy is a not-for-profit grassroots organization focused on the critical environmental issues of the Southwest Florida region with a mission to protect the region’s water, land and wildlife. This is accomplished through the combined efforts of environmental education, science and research, policy and advocacy and wildlife rehabilitation. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic treats more than 2,400 injured, sick and orphaned animals each year and releases about half of them back into their native habitats. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Nature Center is located in Naples, Fla. at 1450 Merrihue Dr., off Goodlette-Frank Road at 14thAvenue North. For information about the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, call 239-262-0304 or visit www.conservancy.org.