When its doors opened to the public, the new James H. and Anne E. Robinson Nature Center began fulfilling its mission of encouraging visitors to embrace and connect with the environment through its many exhibits and its sustainable building, both of which illustrate a strong passion and respect for nature. KCI provided construction oversight and inspection services for the 23,000-square-foot building and 18-acre site, which meets the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest certification, LEED Platinum.
The building is the foundation of a complete learning experience, featuring exhibits that were designed for hands-on manipulation. Visitors begin their nature tour at the canopy level of a mature tree and follow the path down to the forest floor, then through nocturnal displays and into a 50-seat planetarium. The center also boasts a butterfly house, indoor beehive and a hands-on discovery room where children can interact with a host of different materials, including several donated snake skins and deer skulls.
Our team worked with the county, architect GWWO Inc., and contractor Forrester Construction Company to complete the sustainable facility, which features a host of green technologies, including photovoltaic cells that provide between 12 and 17 percent of the building’s power, geothermal heating and cooling, and a vegetated green roof. KCI developed an action plan to ensure that the number of LEED construction credits needed to achieve Platinum status was accomplished.
Every aspect of construction was monitored to verify that materials met LEED requirements.
Mary C. Wiedorfer, PE, CCM, PMP, LEED APVice President, Regional Practice Leader
The effective construction process allowed KCI’s construction team to know on a bi-weekly basis which credits were questioned by the Green Building Council (GBC) and which credits were accepted without comment. By knowing the actual computations and the net result of the design submission for each of the credit categories, the construction team was able to adjust its actions to pursue additional innovation credits or additional optional points for credit items.
KCI Communications Infrastructure was responsible for installation of the voice and data equipment for the entire center.