The Gulf State Park Interpretive Center is on track to become Alabama’s first Living Building! The Living Building Challenge is the most stringent and rigorous green building certification in the world.
LBC goals are more ambitious than just minimizing harm to the environment. Instead LBC challenges teams to create buildings that have a restorative impact on human and ecological communities. WATERSHED served as the Gulf Coast Sustainability Specialist for the Interpretive Center, working with the design team to help achieve and document the 20 Imperatives of the Living Building Challenge and achieve LEED Platinum, and Fortified Commercial Certification. The design team was led by Architecture Works out of Birmingham AL.
The Gulf State Park Interpretive Center is designed to be energy and carbon positive. A 1,48k kW solar array produces more energy than the building consumes, with battery storage for resilience. We have also taken steps to offset the embodied carbon of the building materials.
WATERSHED performed a Life Cycle Assessment of all of the materials used in construction. This data was used to calculate a carbon offset for our project that will remove 172 Metric Tons of carbon from the atmosphere, via tree planting and renewable energy projects. This is more carbon than was introduced into the atmosphere by the harvest, extraction, manufacture and transport of the building materials. Carbon Positive buildings are a critical tool to fight climate change. As our coastal communities are faced with increasingly frequent storms and sea level rise, the Interpretive Center demonstrates not only resilience to the symptoms of climate change, but the possibility of a cure.