The $64.5 million, 163,000 square foot Museum was completed by Big-D Construction in November of 2011. The museum houses more than 1.2 million extraordinary objects and offers gallery and education spaces to further its mission of public engagement in the sciences.
The Natural History Museum of Utah is located at the base of the majestic Wasatch Mountain Range; the design challenge was to stitch together natural and cultural worlds into a seamless, educational landscape that would engage visitors and compete with the distractions of today’s “wired” culture. Big – D’s solution created a camouflage pattern that is geometric and manmade up close but evocative of natural patterns surrounding it from a distance. In this way, the landscape can be at home in its natural surroundings and yet remain unabashedly a cultural construction.
Sustainability and sensitivity to the environment remained important factors during the design and construction of this project. Some of the Museum’s sustainable traits, energy efficiencies, and recycled materials and resources include:
More than 75% of the Museum’s construction waste was recycled, including 205 tons of wood, 154 tons of metal, 24 tons of plastic and cardboard, 1,086 tons of concrete, and 2.1 tons of recycled office supplies. The total weight of recycled material equals 1,471 tons.
More than 25% of the structural and architectural materials are of recycled materials
The rebar contains 95% recycled material and the structural steel contains approximately 75% recycled material.
All concrete contains 15-30% fly ash, a by-product of coal-fired power plants, and some mixes contain up to 40% slag, a waste product from metal smelting. In all there were a total of 789 tons of fly ash, and 565 tons of slag used, helping to reduce the release of carbon emissions.
Approximately 20% of the structural and architectural materials were harvested, extracted and manufactured locally (within a 500-mile radius), resulting in a smaller carbon footprint and investment into local and regional economies.
At least 90% of regularly occupied spaces have access to daylight and outside views, reducing energy use.
Storm water management system retains all of the runoff produced as a result of the newly constructed Rio Tinto Center. Pervious concrete pavement covers the parking area, space for 150 cars, allows direct recharge of rainwater into the site’s ground water system.
The Rio Tinto Center incorporates light concrete pavement and white roofing material to reduce or eliminate elevated temperatures known as “heat island effect,” improving the surrounding environment and quality.
Outdoor lighting is designed not to contribute to light pollution for surrounding areas, achieving the LEED “dark sky” requirement
The Museum site and planted roof use water efficient landscaping, with low water use plantings. Sections of the site are re-vegetated with native plants that require no supplemental water irrigation.
According to big-d.com; blooloop.com and designworkshop.com. Source of photos: internet