Thursday, September 30, 2010

2 beautiful green buildings

I was at the Wilder Center in St. Paul and Silverwood Park in St. Anthony for Minnesota GreenCorps training. Both are beautiful buildings, the Silverwood in particular, and they're packed with energy-saving, waste-reducing green features. Unfortunately I neglected to take pictures of the outsides of the buildings.

You can see a picture of Silverwood's soaring, gorgeous-wood Great Hall here. It's been extremely popular as a wedding reception rental space. Supervisor Tom Moffatt was very enthusiastic about the building, showing us all its energy-saving, waste-reducing, environmentally friendly features, and saying how much he loved working there. Here we're in the basement, checking out the geothermal system.

Permeable pavers in Silverwood's parking lot. There are also ditches between the rows of parking to catch rainwater runoff.

Lovely oak boulders

The building's geothermal system, a jewel in its crown. Tom told us stories about working out the system's kinks, for instance during a wedding reception on a hot summer day someone propped a door open, and the system, sensing the heat and thinking the building was getting too hot, turned on the cold air full blast, freezing the wedding guests.

The Silverwood coffee shop composts, uses all compostable serviceware, and serves fair-trade coffee and local foods.

The gorgeous wood throughout came from 3 oak trees that were felled to make way for the park's new building, which opened in Sept. 2009. Wood From The Hood turned the trees into lumber, and now the oaks are back home.

All wedding events held in the Great Hall are required to separate their organics for composting. Some couples choose Silverwood specifically because of its green features.

The Wilder Center is LEED Gold-certified. The building is flooded with natural light. Read more about the building's features here.

More than 85 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills. The building features lots of recycled products that were manufactured and harvested locally.

Native plants, aerators on all faucets, and low-flush and dual-flush toilets.

"Wilder Center has been designed to use approximately 50% less energy than a building built to standard regulations by utilizing highly efficient boilers, under-floor displacement ventilation, and daylight harvesting."

FLOR tiles in the dining area.

I loved this: the tiny green bucket is for trash while the large white bin is for recyclables. Every desk is set up this way.

Each cubicle has its own air vent, so employees can control their air flow.

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