The new Audubon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) headquarters and visitor center in Coleharbor, North Dakota, is the first of 11 buildings completely renovated in the U.S. for the National Wildlife Refuge system. This renovation was made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AKA stimulus). The new sustainable headquarters and visitor center, completed late 2010, replaced a nearly 52 year old building. As a result of age, the building had developed and exposed some serious health and safety problems, including asbestos, extensive rodent encroachment, water leakage, and mold.
Sustainable and energy conservation features include: Premier Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), providing high insulation and airtight building envelope, a geothermal heating system and two vertical access wind towers that produce electricity specifically for the new building. (View Construction & finished project photos)
The new headquarters and visitor center at Audubon NWR will provide a quality experience for visitors that come to the Refuge to learn about the wildlife that lives there. Students will have the opportunity to supplement their outdoor experience at the Refuge through hands-on lessons in the multipurpose room/classroom. The Refuge staff will be provided a safer working environment with office space that is much more functional and efficient.
The new building includes a 7,230 square foot administration wing, a 3,030 square foot visitor contact wing, and a 745 square foot lobby. A 6,330 square foot basement is also included in the facility. The visitor contact wing includes an 884 square foot exhibit hall and a 1,038 square foot multipurpose room. The building will be certified through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) process.
Project: Audubon NWR Headquarters & Visitor Center
Building Certification: LEED Gold
Designed By: Widseth Smith Nolting, Grand Forks ND
Built By: Keplin Gracon, Loveland CO
Building Size: 11, 015
Premier SIPs Used: 6” Walls & 12” Roof