Seems pretty logical that a park would strive to be as green as possible. So, I was surprised to hear that there is only one, so far, in the United States that has earned a Gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Mind you, that certification cost a cool $72 million, which is the amount of money that the city of San Jose just spent on renovating and expanding the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. The designation covers all of the new areas in the facility.
Here's what helped the zoo earn its badge of green design honor:
- The construction of seven green, growing roofs that are covered with 56,000 native plant species
- The addition of radiant heat and cooling to the buildings, which means there are no heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems inside, expect for in parts of the restaurant and medical building
- Use of recycled water for non-potable functions
- Porous asphalt paving (I like this one; note to husband to investigate for our own driveway)
- Sustainable storm water management systems
- Installation of clerestory windows, which can help reduce electricity consumption
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com