After years of planning and $72 million in renovations, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose, Cali., has become the first amusements park and zoon in the country to be certified LEED® gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED certification is a way for businesses and organization to ensure thier building projects meet the highest green building and performance measures. The LEED rating system offers four certification levels — Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Each level corresponds to the number of credits earned in five green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality (NRDC).
Some of the coolest green upgrades made at Happy Hollow include:
- Seven green (growing) roofs complete with native plant species to provide habitat for wildlife. When combined, the roofs add 14,000 sq. feet of open space and 56,000 plants to Happy Hollow grounds.
- Radiant flooring for cooling and heating of buildings – no HVAC in buildings, with the exception of the restaurant and part of the medical building.
- Recycled water used for non-potable functions throughout facility.
- Sustainable storm water management – designed to keep all rainfall on site.
- Hay bale construction utilized in Education Center.
“Not just one building was certified. The certification is for all the new areas of the facility,” reports Suzanne Wolf, General Manager. It’s hoped that Happy Hollow will stand out as a green model for the nation and the Zoo and Aquarium industry.
Image Credit: Happy Hollow Park and Zoo