SOURCE: Green Building Initiative

Green Building Initiative

December 10, 2013 14:25 ET

Aquarium of the Pacific Achieves 3 Green Globes® for Newly Designed Retail Space

New Addition Rated the Highest in Water Conservation

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwired - Dec 10, 2013) - The Green Building Initiative™ (GBI) announced today that the Aquarium of the Pacific in Southern California has received three Green Globes® for its recently renovated retail store. GBI's sustainable building certification program awards qualified buildings one through four Green Globes based on environmental achievements. For new commercial buildings and major renovations the assessment includes the following areas: Management, Energy, Water, Materials & Resources, Emissions, Indoor Environment and Site.

Green Globes is a web-based program for green building guidance and certification that includes an on-site assessment by a third party. The program is administered in the U.S. by the GBI. Green Globes is a user-friendly alternative to LEED helping to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial buildings.

Located in Long Beach, CA, the nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific recently designed and expanded its retail store to encompass 6,000 sq. ft. in commemoration of its 15th year anniversary. In keeping with their many carbon neutral spaces, solar powered exhibits, and LEED-certified classroom and Molina Animal Care Center, the Aquarium used Green Globes as part of the process to enable the newly designed retail renovation to become a sustainable building. 

"The Aquarium of the Pacific is the first among zoos and national aquariums to register its greenhouse gases. This step furthers our goal of conserving resources and continues our commitment to green operations. Tools like Green Globes help us identify ways to expand without increasing our carbon footprint," said Barbara Long, vice president of special projects.

Focusing on the Aquarium's natural surroundings, one exhibit, Watersheds -- the Pathway to the Pacific -- explores the waters of the local Los Angeles and San Gabriel River watersheds. Visitors to this exhibit learn more about local watersheds, what can be done to protect them and ways to conserve water. 

Emulating similar water conserving methods, the aquarium's newest addition rated the highest in water conservation within the Green Globes certification program. It shares water closets with the rest of aquarium, which feature low flow fixtures and waterless urinals. As part of its design, the site has minimal landscaping and uses drought tolerant plant species to populate the property. With little need for irrigation in a coastal climate, necessary sprinklers have efficiency controls. Even though the property continues to expand, water usage has remained constant -- a sure-sign that conservation is working. 

The Pacific Collections gift-store carries the water theme further with a glass façade of a large-scale underwater image of a kelp forest off the coast of California's Channel Islands. The Aquarium also showcases work by local artisans and displays ecofriendly products, which helps fulfill its vision to conserve nature and its resources.

About Aquarium of the Pacific - The nonprofit Aquarium is a place where important topics facing the planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. Home to more than 11,000 animals, the Aquarium features a variety of programs to engage the public in ocean conservation and environmental education. For more information, visit www.aquariumofpacific.org or call 562-590-3100. Facebook.com/AquariumofthePacific / Twitter @AquariumPacific / YouTube.com/AquariumofthePacific

About the Green Building Initiative™ - The GBI is a nonprofit organization and ANSI Standards Developer dedicated to accelerating the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches. Founded in 2004, the organization is the U.S. provider of the Green Globes® and Guiding Principles Compliance building certification programs. For more information, visit www.thegbi.org.

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