Marion Arts and Environment Center Receives a LEED® Silver Certification

Marion, IA – RDG Planning & Design assisted the City of Marion in transforming the eastern 40 acres of this 180-acre park (as phase 1 of a multi-phase project) into a celebration garden, play spaces for children, and a community arts and environment center which will serve tourism purposes as well as supporting both environmental and arts education. Lowe Park creates a building that is sympathetic to the environment with a level of sustainability that decreases as much as possible its dependency on electricity and natural gas. Marion Arts and Environment Center receives a silver rating in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) program certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and is one of only fourteen buildings in Iowa to achieve LEED® certification.

Some of the design elements that help this $3 million dollar project achieve its green rating include:

  • It restored farmland to native Iowa prairie which is a diverse ecosystem indigenous to Iowa.
  • All storm water is processed through on site bioswales.
  • The land provides the heating and cooling of the facility through a geothermal heat pump system, which has reduced the facilities energy consumption by almost 40%.
  • The land processes waste water naturally through a wetlands septic system.
  • Roof insulation is created from waste wheat contained within structural insulated panels.
  • 85-90% of the building is daylit and ventilated or cooled with operable windows.
  • All landscaping is native species that require no additional water beyond typical rainfall.

RDG is a distinctive group of extraordinary individuals with the shared purpose of making more of life through Purpose-Driven Design. The collaborative effort of RDG’s multi-disciplinary studios including; Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Lighting Design, Art, and Engineering resulted in a successful “Green” project. Our passion for sustainable design – carries through our design process . . . we practice what we preach.
Other notable sustainable “works” include:– Marion Arts and Environment Center at Lowe Park project, featured in the spring 2008 publication of Sustainable Facilities, Green Design, Construction and Operations – Author Keith Moskow, AIA.

  • Marion Arts and Environment Center, featured in 2008 Jul/Aug Eco-Structures magazine
  • Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) project, design by RDG, published in the 2007 book Sustainable Design: Ecology, Architecture, and Planning – Author Daniel Williams
  • Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) project, recognized as 2002 AIA / COTE Top Ten Green Projects
  • Central College Student Housing project received LEED GOLD certification in 2006
  • Central College Educational Psychology Building, currently under construction projected LEED Platinum.
  • ISU College of Design Pavilion Addition, currently under construction projected LEED Gold/Platinum.
  • University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center utilizing “green building practices”
  • RDG was featured on Iowa Public Television – April 14, 2008: Sustainable Design work and the IAMU Facility; presented 2 workshops at Greening the Heartland in St. Louis; and presented the topic of “Sustainable Design and BIM” at this year’s National AIA Convention in Boston.
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