The platinum certification, the highest level offered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), makes the Cincinnati Zoo America''s greenest animal sanctuary, the release stated.
Sustainable aspects of the neo-Victorian style Historic Vine Street Village include: 10 kilowatt (kW) solar panels that reduce the demand for coal-fired power by 15 percent; geothermal heat pumps that meet all of the heating and cooling demands; a rainwater management system; and low-flow fixtures, the release noted.
Mark Fisher, Cincinnati Zoo senior director of facilities, said: "The Zoo''s strong commitment to natural resource conservation starts at the front door. We have been and will continue to aggressively invest in our infrastructure. Building green is the right thing to do for the planet and for the wallet."
Roughly 30 percent of the building materials used in the project were recycled and about 80 percent of construction waste was sent to recycling centers for reuse, the release added.