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EPA Honors the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Visitors' Center in Clermont, KY as a Green Building Challenge Winner

Release Date: 10/08/2009
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,

(Atlanta, Ga. – Oct. 8, 2009) The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Visitors' Center in Clermont, KY is one of six recently honored by EPA as an innovative green concept designed to reduce the environmental and energy impacts of buildings. These concepts may assist the building industry in reducing more than 88 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris sent to U.S. landfills each year.

The Bernheim visitors' center design roots the building firmly in its woodland context by blurring distinctions between the indoors and outdoors, and by incorporating the surrounding forest into the building's lifecycle analysis. Construction emphasized safe, closed material loops of biological nutrients, which break down to safely return to forest soil; and technical nutrients, which can be remanufactured into new objects. The mechanical connections and reconfigurable modules allow for building alterations.

The EPA awards recognized student and professional designs for buildings and building projects, as well as special categories, including the creation of green jobs.

Lifecycle building is designing buildings to facilitate disassembly and material reuse to minimize waste, energy consumption, and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Also known as design for disassembly and design for deconstruction, lifecycle building describes the idea of creating high-performance buildings today that are stocks of resources for the future. EPA recently reported that doubling the reuse and recycling of construction and demolition debris, would result in an emissions savings of 150 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year, equal to the entire annual carbon emissions from the state of North Carolina.

EPA, along with its partners, the American Institute of Architects, West Coast Green, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and StopWaste.Org, invited professionals and students nationwide to submit designs and ideas that support cost-effective disassembly and anticipate future use of building materials. The competition was open to architects, reuse experts, engineers, designers, planners, contractors, builders, educators, environmental advocates and students. This year, the competition was extended to include international participants who hailed from Singapore, Taiwan, Argentina, Columbia, France, Egypt, and the United Kingdom.

More information on the winners:

More information on Green Building in general: