Alabama 4-H Environmental Science Education Center
The Alabama 4-H Environmental Science Education Center is a $7 million, two-story, 17,400 square foot education center completed in November 2007 for the Alabama 4-H Club at Lay Lake. The building was the second structure in Alabama (after the M. Miller Gorrie Building Science Center at Auburn University) to earn gold certification in the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
The center features a multi-function meeting room with a capacity of 350 people as well as smaller seminar rooms and two laboratory classrooms. The corridors and lobby will be furnished with interactive environmental exhibits, and the building extends into the forest with a 1,050 square-foot observation deck at treetop level. It is part of the larger Alabama 4-H Center which provides lodging, meeting and dining facilities for groups as well as team-building, environmental and outdoor recreation programs.
The building, designed by Davis Architects and constructed by B. L. Harbert International, incorporates numerous "green" technologies such as a system to use rainwater to flush toilets and automated light and HVAC controls. The interiors are illuminated mostly by natural light and many of the building's materials are post-consumer recycled products or locally-produced materials.
- "Alabama 4-H Seizes Golden Opportunity with LEED Environmental Education Center." (2008) Pathways special edition.
- Gray, Jeremy (January 4, 2009) "Alabama 4-H Center gets environmental recognition; such projects becoming more common statewide." Birmingham News
- Environmental Science Education Center at the Alabama Cooperative Extension System website
- Environmental Education Building at Davis Architects website
- Alabama 4-H Environmental Science Education Center video on YouTube.com