The project consisted of a new approximately 3,900 square-foot interpretive center at the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in the community of Agua Dulce. The new interpretive center was completed in March 2013 and includes an exhibit area, a classroom/meeting room, staff office, and public restrooms. The exhibit area includes educational components, interactive experiences, electronic media, way finding signage for the park trails, and interpretive displays with themes focusing on the local geology, flora and fauna, Native American settlement, and Hollywood movies filmed at the park. The project also included rehabilitation and restoration of the 1,000 square-foot historic ranger's residence that will be used as office space for Parks and Recreation Staff.
The County is committed to taking an active leadership role in conserving natural resources and protecting the environment. Because of the environmental sensitivity of the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, and the educational opportunities provided through the programs offered to the public at the park, this project was intended to serve as demonstration project for sustainable design. The project was awarded a coveted LEED Platinum Certification, the highest LEED designation, from the U.S. Green Building Council, and the final determination from USGBC is expected by June 2013.
Benefits to Environmental Resources
The project optimized energy performance and water use efficiency, enhanced the sustainability of the site, improved indoor and outdoor environmental quality, and maximized the use and reuse of sustainable, recycled, and local resources.
* Achieved exemplary performance for 53 percent water use reduction above the required 40 percent.
* Achieved exemplary performance for 95 percent waste diversion above the required 75 percent by strictly enforcing a waste management policy with the disposal company during construction.
* Achieved exemplary performance by providing 70 percent of the building electricity use over a two year period by purchasing green power, exceeding the required 35 percent over two years.
* Provided 20.5 percent regional materials use.
* Achieved diversion of over 95 percent of construction waste from landfill.
* Provided over 10 percent of recycled content as a percentage of total materials cost.
* Provided over 70 percent of certified wood value as a percentage of new wood materials cost.
Contribution to wellbeing of DPW and the County
The new facility enhances cultural, recreational and education al opportunities for residents and visitors
Contribution to Economic Health
The project is an investment in public infrastructure and reduced operation and maintenance cost