New UW ENR Home Is Exemplary Green Building

August 30, 2010
Man speaking
Former ENR Director Harold Bergman spoke at the dedication of the new gardens named in his honor. (ENR Photo)

More than 200 people attended Friday's open house and grand opening of the Bim Kendall House, home to the UW Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENR) that houses the Haub School, Ruckelshaus Institute and Wyoming Conservation Corps.

Students provided tours of the home, which was originally a 1950s prairie-style office building that has been transformed into a sustainable facility. The event also included a special dedication of the Bergman Gardens, the landscape around the Kendall House named after Harold Bergman, professor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology and former ENR director. During his tenure as director, the ENR program grew tremendously and became a prominent center for teaching, research and outreach.

"ENR is proud that the Kendall House is one of UW's first green buildings to seek certification from the U.S. Green Building Council," said Nicole Korfanta, associate director of ENR. "Our goal was to create a beautiful building that teaches sustainable building principles to the university community as well as the broader Laramie and Wyoming communities.

"Because of the relatively small size of the building and its location at the edge of campus, we intended this building to be a model for residential and small-scale institutional green design. We used simple technologies and readily available materials to make this building affordably green."

Some of the "green" features, include:

-- A passive ventilation system in lieu of a traditional electrically-powered system.
-- A photovoltaic system that ENR expects to generate about 30 percent of its electrical needs.
-- Rapidly renewable materials such as cork and rubber flooring.
-- Recycled materials such as carpet tiles made from pop bottles and the entryway flooring made from used car tires.
-- Re-used materials, including furniture and hardwood flooring.
-- State-of-the art motors to efficiently power the heating system.
-- Energy efficient windows and new insulation in the original building to maximize energy efficiency.
-- ENR diverted over one-quarter of its construction waste through recycling and re-use.

With ENR's focus on the environment and natural resources, it to devote as much attention to the outside of the building as the inside. The landscape design includes:

-- Xeriscaped gardens that primarily use native plants that require minimal water use once established. Native buffalo and gamma grasses for turf, as well as native chokecherries, sumac, and ash were also used the landscaping.
-- Old concrete serves as hardscape and reclaimed bike racks were used instead of buying new ones.

-- Rain chains mounted to the gutter move water from the roof to the landscaping below.
-- The Solstice Plaza, with its paired stones through which the summer and winter solstice sun rises and sets.

For more information about sustainable practices at UW, visit the Campus Sustainability Committee Web Page.

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