The First LEED-Certified Building In Kauai

Back in July, I had the opportunity to take a tour of theheadquarters for the National Tropical Botanical Gardens (NTBG) inKauai.

Why would I want to tour the headquarters of the NTBG?

Because it’s the first LEED-certified building on the island. Andwith a gold rating, it’s a pretty spectacular building, boastingserious green credentials. . .

  • Certified tropical hardwood which was used for exterior siding and interior stairs

  • A 30 Kw photovoltaic system on the roof

  • Rainwater catchment

  • Plumbing system that uses 30 percent less potable water than standard fixtures

  • No chlorofluorocarbon-based refrigerants used in air-conditioning or refrigeration systems

  • Motion sensor lighting systems

  • Environmentally-friendly paints, sealants and carpeting

The inside of the building also gets exceptional lighting by utilizing overhead clerestory windows.

I’ve seen a lot of LEED-certified buildings, but I have to admitthat the lighting in this building was truly impressive. Strollingthrough the NTBG’s library, I was convinced that this really will bethe status quo in lighting in the very near future. It’s just ano-brainer.

The NTBG had some pretty impressive landscaping too.

In an effort to allow the land around the building to absorb morewater and diffuse it to the surrounding landscaping, permeable outdoorsurfaces were created by embedding hollow plastic rings in a gravelpavesystem.

gravel

Of course, the landscaping boasts drought-tolerant native Hawaiianspecies that are well-suited for the environment. And it helpseliminate the need for permanent outside irrigation too.

landscaping landscaping8 landscaping9

The building was also designed to reduce the release of sediment,minimize soil erosion, and lessen the overall environmental footprint.And throughout construction, more than 65 percent of all wastematerials were diverted from the island’s only landfill.

Though I have to admit, my favorite part was probably this…

charge8     charge9

As a strong supporter of electric and plug-in hybrid electricvehicle integration, few things impress me more than charging stations.

To learn more about the NTBG, check out their website here.

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