Friday, May 08, 2009

LEED Certified Eco Building

We will soon start construction on a new building at Temple Hall Farm Regional Park. This building will demonstrate some of the cutting edge features of modern environmentally designed buildings and yet still blend in perfectly with the setting of this historic farm.

The environmental elements connect with the wind, water, earth and sun. The heating and cooling will be done with a geothermal heat pump, that uses the cool in the summer, warm in the winter aspects of the underground temperature to help the heating and cooling system operate much more efficiently.

Water running off the roof will be captured and stored in underground cisterns. From there the water will be pumped using an old fashion farm windmill and use as the gray-water to flush the toilets. Hot water will be pre-heated using a solar hot water heater to further save on energy consumption.

This building will be an office for our farm staff, as well as providing a meeting room, rest rooms, and display stalls for animals and historic farm equipment. It will be made out of old timbers from two old barns that were each over 100 years old. Recycling building materials, and being energy efficient are some of the elements that should win this building a high LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

Building to such a high environmental standard is just one of the ways the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is trying to lead by example. Some of the other efforts include:
  • Audubon International Certification of all three NVRPA Golf Courses at Wildlife Sanctuaries. These were the fist publicly owned course in the mid-Atlantic states to achieve this status.
  • Participant in the Cool Cities/Cool Counties initiative to reduce carbon emissions. This includes a comprehensive energy conservation effort system wide.
  • A cutting edge policy on fertilizer and pesticide use that applies to all of our parks to reduce the impact of chemicals on our environment.
  • Making all of our parks places of natural and/or historic interpretation.

The Temple Hall building is funded from an endowment left to NVRPA from the late Mrs. Symington who donated Temple Hall Farm to the Park Authority. It is a fun and rewarding experience to be involved in creating a building that will exist in harmony with nature.

1 comment:

Francis Bell said...

REALLY GREAT NEWS!!! You can now not only heat and cool your home the clean and renewable geothermal way-but also your POOL!This is information well worth looking into-Francis