Community Center aims at green design | SierraSun.com

Community Center aims at green design

Jenny Goldsmith
Sierra Sun
Courtesy illustration from NTD Architecture/SunThe Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District has encouraged the use of eco-friendly design and materials in the Community Recreation Center. Work began this year on the community center.
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Architects in charge of Truckee’s new Community Recreation Center are moving forward with sustainable construction techniques and energy-efficient design elements.

During last Thursday’s Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District board meeting, representatives from Auburn-based NTD Architecture described the sustainable features to be integrated into the center’s construction phase.

Green design elements include energy-efficient lighting, use of recycled materials in certain floorings, waterless urinals, an elevator that captures energy as it descends and dedicated low-emission-vehicle parking spaces.

“We have tracked the progress on the sustainable design of the building, and we have a high level of confidence that it is going down that path,” said Chris Vicencio, the project’s lead architect.

Other interesting features of the building include its water-efficient landscaping that will utilize stormwater management ” a system that will filter runoff in an on-site “bioswale” to reduce the load on local storm drains.

Additionally, the team of architects will harvest pine needles from the building site to use for ground cover once construction is completed.

“I was thrilled with the way the green aspects of the building are really coming together,” board Chairman Marshall Lewis said. “We feel that aesthetically, this is going to be a great first introduction for people coming into Truckee.”

Lewis said the project will not be seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification due to the costs associated with the green building verification.

However, architect Vicencio said the design team will use an approach similar to the rating system’s criteria.

“We believe we’re developing a facility close to LEED silver, but we’re just not formally going through the process,” said Vicencio, who has a LEED credential for his training in sustainable building practices.

Vicencio and his team of architects have also worked closely with Scott Terrell, a conservation specialist with Truckee Donner Public Utility District, to exchange information and resources on green building in Truckee.

“Since day one the board has been 100 percent in favor of pursuing sustainability,” Vicencio said. “We’re into the construction-document phase and green design is very integral to what we’re doing.”