Exhibit built around environmental theme
Cranes are considered an “umbrella” species, under which entire ecosystems can be protected.
To house this ecologically essential creature, the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo wanted something special: an exhibit reflecting the cranes’ importance to the environment.
The result is a monument not only to the blue, wattled, grey crowned and black crowned cranes, but also to sustainable building and design.
Completed in June 2009, the $2.5 million Spirit of Africa Exhibit at the foundation’s south central Wisconsin home includes five new buildings, two renovated structures and four wetland areas on a 5-acre site.
The exhibit handles energy conservation and environmental sensitivity in a multitude of innovative ways, said construction manager Marty Sell, president of MSA Integrated Project Delivery LLC, Baraboo. One example of this is the nearly 1,700 feet of pathways, which are made of a new recycled glass pavement called FilterPave, he said.
The recycled glass was put through a special production process, Sell said, to round out the edges and transform it into a rock like material that is harder than stone but not brittle. The material is porous so rain soaks into the ground, minimizing runoff and erosion.
Sell said MSA worked with the project’s designer, The Kubala Washatko Architects Inc., Cedarburg, to include such other sustainable features as photovoltaic collector systems that produce an average of 1,200 kilowatt hours per month and a solar water heating system that provides winter warmth for the cranes in the largest building on site.
Solar panels set to the side of the crane holding building transfer warmth to a hot-water coil that heats the sand under the building’s concrete floor. On the roof of the building, rain is collected and used to water new plants and all four wetland areas.
The entire exhibit requires only 300 to 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month, so the ICF is able to sell excess energy back to the utility company.
“Achieving sustainability goals for the Africa Exhibit at the International Crane Foundation required a collaborative effort between the contractor, client and design team,” said Wayne Reckard, director of business development at Kubala Washatko. “Each partner was committed to identifying and implementing sustainable solutions that supported the mission of the foundation.”