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03.09.12 Howard County’s Robinson Nature Center Earns LEED® Platinum Designation

March 9, 2012

Media Contact:
Kevin Enright, Director, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

Howard County’s Robinson Nature Center Earns LEED® Platinum Designation

County leadership is “transforming the building industry”

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Ken Ulman announced today that the Robinson Nature Center has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certification. LEED® provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. The Robinson Nature Center is one of only three publically owned and operated buildings in the State of Maryland to earn LEED® Platinum, the highest level of certification awarded.

The U.S. Green Building Council described the Robinson Nature Center as a “pioneering example of sustainable design” and acknowledged Howard County’s leadership in “transforming the building industry.”

“Each time I visit the Robinson Nature Center, I am reminded of the tremendous amount of thought, precision and hard work that went into creating this true community treasure,” said County Executive Ulman. “From the plan design and construction to the actual programs offered, we made a conscious decision to focus on sustainability, and I am very proud to see our efforts and execution recognized with such a distinguished award.”

Last fall, the Robinson Nature Center was recognized by the Associated General Contractors as the “Best Sustainability Project of the Year for New Construction,” and won the Associated Builders and Contractors 2011 “Excellence in Construction” Award.

Among the green elements included at the Robinson Nature Center are: solar panels to offset the building’s energy costs; pervious paving which helps recharge groundwater and reduces runoff that carries contaminants into waterways; a green roof which helps the building keep cool; and a geothermal HVAC which is projected to cut heating and cooling energy use by 30% over a conventional air source heat pump system.

Visitors can get a behind-the-scenes LEED® tour to see how sustainable practices, technologies and materials incorporated into the Center can be transferrable and applicable in homes, workplaces and in one’s own life. LEED® tours must be scheduled in advance by calling 410-313-0400.