Howard County's recently opened Robinson Nature Center has become the third public building in the state to earn an LEED platinum certification.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation is given by the U.S. Green Building Council. Platinum is the highest level of certification a building can receive. The council described the Robinson Nature Center as a "pioneering example of sustainable design" and said Howard County is "transforming the building industry" with its leadership.
Last fall, the Associated General Contractors named Robinson as the "Best Sustainability Project of the Year for New Construction" and the Associated Builders and Contractors gave the center its 2011 "Excellence in Construction" award.
The center's green features include solar panels, pervious paving to help reduce storm water runoff, a green roof that helps keep the building cool and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
"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," County Executive Ken Ulman said in a statement. "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."
Visitors to the nature center can get a LEED tour to see how sustainable elements were incorporated into the building. To schedule an LEED tour, call 410-313-0400.