By Nick Gilbert
The new Tracy Aviary Visitors Center earned LEED Gold certification. This second LEED Gold award for Tracy Aviary emphatically underscores the organization's commitment to environmentally friendly practices. The Center was constructed by Big-D Construction and designed by AJC Architects via a design-build scheme and was inaugurated in December 2011.
The new Tracy Aviary Visitors Center has the goal to uphold the educational, experiential and sustainability themes of the organization. Tracy Aviary's first venture occurred when Salt Lake City banker Russel Lord Tracy bequeathed his private bird collection to Salt Lake City and its progeny in 1938. Tracy Aviary has continued on its path of great developmentwith its various projects that have been completed and many more that are in the pipeline. Presently, the Aviary has a collection of about 400 birds from around 135 species, of which many are deemed endangered and rare. The display shows various bird habitats that can be seen north and south of the Western Hemispheric Flyway, the migratory path used by birds that often visit the Great Salt Lake and other Utah locales.
The various sustainability attributes embraced by the Tracy Aviary Visitors Center are:
- The building made is safe for birds with 3 different window treatments that minimize bird strikes causing injuries or death;
- Pre-cleaning and retaining the roof stormwater via installation of detention and retention ponds;
- Saving water by 20% in comparison to similar constructions;
- 95% of the wood used was approved by the Forest Stewardship Council;
- More than 20% of the building and site materials were recycled material;
- Over 13% of the electricity requirements are met by rooftop photovoltaic panels;
- More than 60% of the waste arising from the construction are diverted to other uses;
- Using various measures to safeguard the health of the occupants such as air filters, better ventilation and air quality monitoring, not using any harmful chemicals, etc.