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Robinson Nature Center Lauded for Sustainability, Construction

New Cedar Lane nature center receive two awards from building trades groups.

Columbia's new Robinson Nature Center has been honored by two building
trades organizations for excellence in construction and green building
principles.

The Cedar Lane center that was named the Best
Sustainability Project of the Year for New Construction by the Associated
General Contractors,
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced Tuesday.

Representatives from Howard County Government and Forrester Construction, the prime contractor on the nature center project, will be honored at the 11th annual AGC Washington contractor awards ceremony later this month, according to a statement from the county.

The state-of-the-art nature center also received the 2011 Excellence in
Construction award from the Associated Builders and Contractors.

"One of the overarching goals of this project was to incorporate green
building principles into the design and construction of the Robinson
Nature Center, and I am proud to say we put our thoughts into action,"
Ulman said in the statement.

The three-story building is on track to become LEED Certified Platinum. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system.

The center's green elements include solar panels that reduce the building's 
traditional energy costs; pervious paving that helps reduce runoff that
carries contaminants into local waterways; a green roof that helps the
building keep cool; and a geothermal heating and cooling system that is
projected to cut energy consumption costs by 30 percent as compared to a
conventional heat pump system.

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