Grand Teton National Park Foundation
Make a Gift Bear Box

sustainable design features

site and landscape

  • Construction and site disturbance was confined to the smallest possible area, resulting in minimal disturbance to wildlife corridors.
  • Native seeds and plants were collected prior to construction and reused in the final landscaping. Many additional plants were grown from the original samples. Trees and other woody debris removed during site preparation were reused onsite as composted mulch.
  • Topsoil removed for construction was reused for site restoration projects. Soil was not collected in areas with invasive, nonnative plants.
  • The irrigation system is designed for plant establishment only (2-3 years). Irrigation water comes from a well supplying nonconsumptive water for mechanical cooling.

windows and natural light

  • Extensive use of Low-E glass takes advantage of sunlight and reduces dependence on artificial lighting while minimizing heat gain.
  • Automatic dimming sensors monitor light levels inside and adjust lighting accordingly.

natural and recycled materials

  • Most of the wood used throughout the building is Forest Stewardship Council-certified and comes from sustainably managed forests.
  • The use of glulam beams, large beams that are actually built up from smaller wood pieces, reduces waste and allows effective use of smaller trees.
  • Countertops and partitions in the restrooms are made of recycled materials.
  • Tile in the restrooms contains more than 55% recycled glass.
  • Tackboard in the Directors Room and offices is made from linseed oil, granulated cork, pine rosin, and jute; it is biodegradable, as well as free of volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  • Staff lockers are made of 70% kraft paper (made of rapidly renewable materials such as cellulose and wood fibers). They are low VOC and also made of 15% recycled postindustrial materials.
  • All carpets are made from recycled materials.
  • Kitchen countertops are low VOC Formica laminate and are made of 20% recycled postindustrial waste.
  • Fly ash, a waste material from coal-burning power plants that is typically landfilled, replaces 15-25% of the cement used in the building.


  • All interior paint finishes are VOC-free and exterior paint finishes are low VOC.
  • All interior wood stains and finishes are water-based and are low VOC.


  • Waterless urinals and low-flow toilets in the restrooms reduce water consumption.
  • Appliances in the building are Energy Star-rated, using 10-50% less energy.
  • Staff offices include changing rooms and shower to encourage alternative methods of commuting, such as bicycling (bike rack provided) or walking.
  • Hand dryers in restrooms use 80% less energy than typical hand dryers.

snow country strategies

  • Snow is kept on the roof during the winter with a cold roof system, which improves building insulation. This roof system also minimizes ice dams and other problems resulting from freeze-thaw conditions.
  • Cast-in-place concrete wainscot and shield walls mitigate the weathering effects of deep snowfall.

heating, cooling and ventilation systems

  • A durable, Galvalume standing seam metal roof reflects heat from the building during the summer and traps heat indoors during the winter.
  • The primary source of heat for the building comes from radiant concrete slabs warmed by low-temperature water.
  • Extremely high efficiency boilers fire an indirect water heater to provide the domestic hot water supply.
  • The building is served by three air handling units that can be managed separately in response to building usage. The system purges air at night to take advantage of the large daily temperature fluctuations and uses outdoor air to reduce the indoor building temperature on cool summer nights.
  • When needed, cold ground water, approximately 48 degrees F, is pumped from a shallow well and piped through the forced air system to cool the building.
tel: 307-732-0629 fax: 307-732-0639 • mail: PO Box 249 Moose, WY 83012 • location: 25 S. Willow Suite 10, Jackson WY 83001 • e-mail:
© 2010 Grand Teton National Park Foundation