Green Building

North Carolina visitor center makes energy efficient upgrades

Fri, 07/27/2012 - 14:53

In North Carolina, finding a warm spot along the highway is not a difficult task during much of the year, but as winter months approach, a new visitor center will provide travellers in the state with a place to recoup and relax in comfort.The Henderson Times-News reported that the Parkway Visitor Center at milepost 384 in North Carolina, which opened in 2008, recently received a number of upgrades to help provide visitors with a more comfortable experience and to lower the operating costs for the facility.According to the news outlet, the building received an Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), as it matched the agency's standards for what a sustainable structure should be.The building features a number of green technologies, including passive heating and cooling, radiant floor heating and a "green roof." Because of these upgrades, along with a redesigned exterior, the USGBC felt that the LEED certification would be attributed to the facility.This designation seemed too perfect for the building, as it sits along the Blue Ridge Parkway, an iconic site that encompasses all of nature's beauty in North Carolina. A green structure in an overly green region will help to welcome travellers to the area.Radiant heating systems help to increase the energy efficient nature of any building, as they help to limit heating costs due to the ability of these products to deliver warmth without relying on too much energy.Because the technology limits the overall energy expenditure for any building, many companies and homeowners install these products, which help to increase the value of a structure, especially if it becomes LEED certified.