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Green Features

  • The Environmental Nature Center installed an Electric Vehicle Charging Station, and purchased an Electric Vehicle (EV) to be used as an eco-friendly mode of transportation for our Traveling Naturalist program. The charging station accommodates two vehicles. One of the spaces is designated for the ENC’s charging needs, while the other is available to Center visitors and community members.
  • The building exceeds the nation’s strictest energy code, California’s Title 24 requirements, by 70%, making the renewable “net zero” aspect of the project possible. The building is the first in the Southern California Edison (SCE) service area to actually be a net energy producer.
  • The south-facing roof of the Nature Center accommodates a 42 kW array of photovoltaic panels. The PV panels, which generate 67,413 kWh of energy annually, provide 100% of the power for the ENC’s electrical needs as part of SCE’s net metering program.
  • Beginning with the north/south orientation and shape of the building, the ENC effectively harvests natural daylight through the 25’ high glass wall as well as the cool ocean breezes. The breezeway, which separates the staff areas from the Center, also promotes additional air movement through the structure.
  • The project’s use of integral color plaster—which requires no painting—and composition wood material, creates a maintenance-free facility.
  • Coupled with the natural daylight is a lighting control system that monitors not only the lighting requirements but also the occupancy of all rooms, saving both energy and cost.
  • The use of natural ventilation takes advantage of the coastal climate and prevailing breezes, which eliminates the need for air conditioning and heating of the building.
  • The parking lot is landscaped with locally native, drought tolerant plants, eliminating the need for irrigation.
  • Bioswales and rain harvesting eliminate all stormwater runoff.  Solids are removed on site and the water is returned to the aquifer.
  • Recycled and recyclable materials are used extensively throughout the facility. As an example, the composite siding material used on the exterior of the building is made of wood and plastic scraps that would normally end up in a landfill.
  • Insulation consists of 85% recycled material from denim blue jeans and 15% cotton fibers that are rapidly renewable resources.
  • Water efficiency measures reduce this building’s water usage by 46% in comparison to a similar building. Waterless urinals, dual flush, and low flow fixtures save an average of 15,000 gallons of potable water per year.
  • 82% of the project’s construction waste was recycled and diverted from landfills.
  • We use green housekeeping products instead of harmful chemicals, along with recycled paper products, to provide a cleaner, more productive indoor environment for our staff and visitors.
  • Educational programs and signage throughout the site educate visitors about our sustainable design and construction. HERE are some ENC Staff Tips to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle!


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