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Visitors See Working Example of Water Efficiency

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 10) – As the ongoing drought stresses resources throughout the state, the question is “how can a maximum-use building be a minimum water user?”

One example can be found at 1751 Varsity Drive on the Centennial Campus of N.C. State University, where the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission headquarters features design elements to maximize energy conservation and minimize impacts on the environment.

The monthly water bill here typically runs $120. That’s for a five-story, 73,000 square-foot building with 190 permanent employees and an estimated 1,500 visitors a month.

“It’s important for the agency that stresses resource management to set a good example,” said Gordon Myers, deputy director. “This is a ‘green building’ that puts conservation practices to work, which is energy and economically efficient.”

The building was selected as a pilot project in North Carolina’s High Performance Buildings Program and has received widespread recognition and awards for incorporating sustainable building features that cause minimal environmental impacts. Staff moved into the building in September 2005.

Some of the water saving methods highlighted:
Condensation from heating and air conditioning is used to irrigate the grounds
Waterless urinals and controlled flow devices are used in restrooms
Landscaping uses drought resistant, native plants and trees
Rain gardens and bio-retention cells provide storm water control
Mulch helps reduce evaporation and keeps soil moist

A City of Raleigh delegation toured the building on March 7 to get an up-close look at the structure’s sustainable features. These features include water conservation, energy efficiency and the use of natural lighting. The City wants to use sustainable features in its future development projects, including the Clarence Lightner Public Safety Center, Randleigh Farm and the Remote Operations Center.

“The City Council and the City Administration are working together to establish sustainability practices that will be models for the entire community,” said Raleigh City Manager J. Russell Allen. “The Wildlife Resources Commission building demonstrates some of those best practices that we can use for learning experiences.”

The first floor of the Commission headquarters also houses the Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education, a free interactive learning facility, which continues the conservation message with a 20-minute video, displays on habitat and ecological succession in the Piedmont, and an outdoor demonstration area.

Since the agency was created by the General Assembly in 1947, the men and women of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have been dedicated to the conservation and management of fish and wildlife for the benefit of citizens and sportsmen, and for future generations.
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