Feds award Mesa Verde visitor center
The visitor center at Mesa Verde National Park was recently honored with a 2013 Federal Energy and Water Management Award.
Bestowed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the honor recognizes the visitor and research center as a high-performance sustainable building.
The award is based on demonstrated use of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, recycling and environmentally preferable materials.
Opened in December, the center received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The council's highest certification, officials said it was a difficult achievement because the building serves more than 570,000 park visitors each year and houses more than 3 million artifacts requiring strict environmental controls.
In addition, the landscape design achieved certification from the Sustainable Sites Initiative. The honor, in part, recognizes the facility's use of stormwater for irrigation.
Representatives from the 24 tribes associated with Mesa Verde contributed to the building and exhibits design.