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Kitsap Community Resources center awarded for 'green' efforts
The new Kitsap Community Resources (KCR) Community Services Center stands tall — and green.
The 22,000-square-foot building, completed in October 2007, recently earned a LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certificates are awarded to buildings that adhere to the highest sustainable living standards.
KCR staff and a handful of local dignitaries including Reps. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) and Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) and state Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) celebrated the building's silver certification, the second-highest ranking, on Thursday.
"It will be a teacher and a positive message to everyone who comes to visit," said Kathleen O'Brien, president of O'Brien & Co. Inc., a sustainable development and green building consulting firm involved with the project. "It took creativity, commitment and upfront planning."
More than 300 donors contributed to the $7.5 million project including civic groups, businesses, and local, state and federal government.
"After living in the building for nine months, let me tell you, it was well worth while," KCR Executive Director Larry Eyer said. "I'm here to say this has been a good thing."
The building earned 33 LEED points and includes natural lighting, operational windows to control ventilation, replaceable carpet squares made of recycled material, dual flush toilets, motion-detected lights and sink faucets, blinds of made recycled material and permeable blacktop paving to eliminate runoff.
"It shows our commitment to the environment that our community, clients and employees live in," Eyer said. "We hope it will serve as a model to others interested in developing a green building."
Electricity (seven percent), water-sewer (23 percent) and natural gas (31 percent) costs are all down from last year when KCR operated in its previous building.
KCR also has started a health and wellness program, Eyer said, and restricts smoking on the building's grounds.
"Having the new facility has inspired us to step out in some new, healthy ways as well," he said.
Rice Ferguson Miller Architects designed the building and Mike Botkin directed the project.
"The benefits of the new building go beyond the cost savings involved in housing these services in one spot," Botkin said. "This facility demonstrates an investment in out future and our community by improving the work environment for our employees and by providing an easily accessible location for our clients."
The nonprofit KCR, which began in 1967, offers programs to assist Kitsap County families in need of food, housing and nutrition services.
Capital Campaign Leadership Committee, Kitsap County Solid Waste Division and the Kresge Foundation Green Building Initiative also contributed to the project, according to KCR.