Innovative Building for Sustainability Workshop

The capital campaign feasibility study for the planned marine discovery center is in, and the request for proposals for the conceptual design work is out. It is an exciting time for Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation as we hit another milestone and move forward with the plans to build a center to showcase science and research, facilitate learning experiences, and galvanize the community to participate in marine stewardship.

In preparation for our conceptual design stage, we worked with our project partners, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Feiro Marine Life Center, to host a one-day workshop on “Innovative Building for Sustainability”. We had approximately 35 people in attendance to share ideas on how to build a facility for the future using the resources available in our local communities.

Our keynote speaker, Alan Varsik (pictured below), the Zoological & Environmental Education Director for MetroParks, Tacoma presented on building a sustainable aquarium for the future.


We also had presentations from Geoffrey Wood, Fellow and VP of Innovation, Composites Recycling Technology Center, on using recycled carbon fiber material for building (pictured below); Jonathan Boehme, a Civil Engineer with the City of Port Angeles, spoke on innovative water management and what it would take to ‘win the prize’ for the best stormwater design. Megan Davis, Washington State University’s Clallam County Extension Waste Reduction Program, presented on the concept of a zero-waste campus. We finished the day with Barbara Rodriguez Droguett of the University of Washington’s Carbon Leadership Forum with a presentation titled “Ocean smart building: leaders reducing the carbon impact of building and operating buildings”. Ms. Rodriguez emphasized that however important it is to build a net zero building for operating, that we should think through how to reduce our carbon impact during the building of the facility.

The partners came away excited about moving forward in these conversations for innovative building, developing partnerships to help us explore further options and incorporating these ideas into the plans for the new facility. The marine discovery center partners are determined to work locally to engage innovative green building techniques, methodologies and innovations into our new facility. Our vision is to lead the way in showcasing local building materials, using local innovative design and state-of the art technologies: the completed facility will serve as a model for communities building similar projects.

Funding for this project was provided by the Port of Port Angeles.