Yellowstone employee housing earns green building recognition, uses Beetle Kill Pine.

Posted: June 30, 2016

Source: Billings Gazette

Beetle kill pine wallsA new employee residence in Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Village has received the top rating for energy and environmental  design. The platinum rating comes from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The residence was built by concessioner Yellowstone National Park Lodges, operated by Xanterra Parks &Resorts.

The project is the first platinum-rated certification achieved by a concession operator inside a national park. Platinum is the highest LEED certification level and accounts for only about 7 percent of all LEED-certified projects. In order to achieve LEED certification, the project needed to meet stringent sustainability requirements in areas such as site selection, water use reduction, energy performance, materials usage, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. As part of its concession contract with the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park Lodges built the 78-unit residence and moved employees from cabins that will be renovated and used for guest accommodations this summer.

blue beetle kill pine walls

Notable achievements in the Xanterra Yellowstone Employee Housing project include:

  • More than 94 percent of construction waste was recycled or reused so that it was not transported to the landfill, the closest of which was 150 miles from the site.
  • Water usage in the building will be reduced by 45 percent, and energy savings will be more than 40 percent versus that of a building using standard construction methods.
  • Solar panels on the building’s roof will generate 11 percent of its electricity.
  • Beetle-killed pine from Montana was used extensively in trim and paneling.
  • The residence’s entry staircase treads were built from cedar reclaimed from a deconstructed Montana cabin in partnership with the Department of Environmental Quality. The cabin’s owner razed the outdated structure and wanted the cabin’s reclaimed materials to be used in a park project.

blue pine wall panelingXanterra worked with Kath Williams + Associates of Bozeman, a consultant who has been instrumental in shepherding many projects through the LEED certification process, including an employee residence that Xanterra built in 2004 in Gardiner that was the first LEED-certified building inMontana.

A key approach to building the residence was to use a modular construction process that allowed for a swift schedule while minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency during the construction process. Constructed in Boise, Idaho, by Guerdon Enterprises, the modular units were transported into the park for final assembly and finishing. This approach meant that in the fall when the temperatures dropped, crews were able to continue to work inside the building instead of putting the project on hold until spring.

The building was designed by Mosaic Architects in Helena, and Montana-based Swank Enterprises was the general contractor. The entirety of the building’s high-performance windows were donated by Andersen Windows in partnership with the National Park Service and Yellowstone Park Foundation.

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