Lee H. Brown Learning Center

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Lee H. Brown Family Conservation Learning Center

Dedicated in early 2008, the Lee H. Brown Family Conservation Learning Center is the newest addition to the Reid Park Zoo. The 10,430 SF Learning Center provides educational opportunities to over 500,000 guests per year and serves as an extension of the “Wild Ideas” exhibit, which teaches zoo visitors how the building relates to its natural environmental. The collaborative vision between the Tucson Zoological Society, the Reid Park Zoo, and Green Ideas resulted in an earth-friendly education center that was consistent with the Zoo’s mission of conservation. Targeting the highest achievable level of LEED certification represented a major commitment by the entire project team. Green Ideas implemented several sustainable strategies into the design, development and construction of the project allowing the Center to become the first LEED Platinum certified building in Southern Arizona, the third in the entire State, and the first LEED Platinum building in any zoo or aquarium.

Sustainable Strategies

  • High-performance, reflective roofing system reduces the Urban Heat Island Effect

  • Architectural shading features control solar heat gain

  • High R-value insulation, occupancy sensors and permanent monitoring systems were installed to minimize energy use

  • Low-flow fixtures reduce domestic water use

  • Onsite rainwater and greywater harvesting

  • Low VOC-emitting materials for the building’s interior create enhanced Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Wood products used in the project were harvested from Forest Stewardship Council certified forests


Project Results

  • LEED for New Construction Platinum level achieved

  • 66% energy cost savings above ASHRAE 90.1-1999 energy standard

  • 49% of building’s power provided by onsite solar energy generation

  • 100% reduction of potable water use for irrigation

  • 78% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill

Lee-H Brown Learning Center_LEED Facts

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