Fernald Visitors Center and Nature Preserve
glaserworks transformed an existing steel warehouse into a visitors’ center for the Fernald Preserve. Over the previous two decades the one thousand acre site–once used as a uranium processing facility– was remediated and turned into a nature preserve consisting of wetlands, prairies and forests. Now, the new visitors’ center contains a community meeting room, offices, and an exhibition that paints a picture of the Cold War Era.
The Visitors Center is a model of energy efficiency and environmental building practices. Among its key features are a geothermal based heat pump system; high-efficiency electrical, water and plumbing fixtures; window placements that optimize sunlight in all seasons; low-emitting building materials; and a bio-wetland that will process all the building’s wastewater. Twenty-three percent recycled material content and fourty-three percent locally sourced materials were used. Even the exhibits use sustainable products and materials.
The Visitors Center is a design/build project on which glaserworks collaborated with Megen Construction. Conceptual building design, sustainable strategies, and exhibit design was led by a team of faculty at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Architecture and Interior Design, including John E. Hancock, Ericka Hedgecock, and Virginia Russell.
On October 16, 2008, the Department of Energy accepted the project’s certification of LEED Platinum making it the first LEED Platinum certified project in the state of Ohio.