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Green architecture – Paul Smith Children’s Village

By Damir Beciri
3 Comments29 August 2010

paul-smith-childrens-village-1Here is a nice example of green architecture, first of its kind children’s garden, which through play and adventure provides children the experience to understand practical methods of sustainable living. The Cheyenne Botanic Gardens announced that the Paul Smith Children’s Village and the Lowes Discovery Lab have been awarded with LEED Platinum certification.

Visitors to the Children’s Village are greeted by interactive and informational touch screens intended to educate guests about the green design elements of the building. The 0.3 hectare (0.75 acre) site includes the Lowe’s Discovery Lab, a renovated solar heated and powered 278 square meter (3,000 square foot) 1930’s stone building, and many interactive landscapes including natural wetlands, gravity powered water works, farmers windmill, vertical axis wind turbine, solar pumps, sculptures, world vegetable garden, prairie plantings, waterwheel, Archimedes screw pump, a “Secret Garden,” art and crafts plazas, green roof demonstration, historic sheep wagon, tipi village, picnic orchard, and puppet theater.

Building envelope and energy use was optimized to save 71% of annual energy cost and 78% of total annual energy over the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 energy standard. Installed on-site photovoltaic panels, vertical axis wind turbine, and solar thermal provide renewable energy and lessen energy costs by 35%. The indoor heating is achieved in-floor radiant heating and natural cooling and ventilation. All of the indoor spaces are projected with adequate delighting.

Sustainable landscape design treats storm water on-site, reducing demand on municipal sewer system. Indoor water usage is reduced by 60% with ultra low flow water closets, waterless urinals, and low flow lavatories and faucets. Treated non-potable water is used for on-site watering, thus reducing potable water use. Landscape water needs are reduced by 70% through the selection of native and low water vegetation and the use of innovative watering techniques.

Since they performed careful deconstruction of existing on-site structures, the builders maintained over 50% of interior and non-structural building elements. Over 77% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill and more than 50% of the site was protected and restored with native vegetation and habitat. –  Selected building materials that were harvested and manufactured regionally, contain recycled content, were salvaged or repurposed, and contain low-  and no volatile organic compounds.

“We are excited to receive LEED certification. Given the fact that our Children’s Village has a theme of sustainability, we felt it was important to document our sustainability through the LEED certification process. The Friends of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens took a leap of faith in deciding to pursue the highest green certification available,” states Shane Smith, Director of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. “We were pleased with the process and enjoyed working with The Design Studio, AECOM, Dohn Construction, and the Institute for the Built Environment, who all have excellent experience in green projects.”

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3 Comments — Leave your response!

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    In Floor Radiant Heating

    Good info regarding this building created using eco-friendly techniques. By explaining the advantages of using in-floor radiant heating to warm up the interiors seems to benefit those who are interested in upgrading their existing heater system.

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    Larissa Kosmos

    Kudos to the brains behind this project! Sounds brilliant and looks beautiful. I hope green-minded children’s villages such as this one are developed in many other parts of the country.

    A mother of 2 in New York City

  • Avatar
    stysia reay

    Congratulations on the Leeds certification. This type children’s village should be an essential and priority project for NA cities, coast to coast. Is any ‘awareness’ campaign being planned to target several hundred mayors about this Paul Smith c.v.? How better to educate children/youth about sustainability and their stewardship of our limited resources — neither the school systems nor parents can be relied on for every child to understand, embrace and practice ‘green’.

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