U.S. Forest Service
MARS HILL, N.C., Nov. 13, 2012 – The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina today announced that the new, environmentally friendly Appalachian Ranger District office in Mars Hill, N.C., is now open. The address is 632 Manor Rd., phone: (828) 689-9694.
The Forest Service designed the facility to meet standards required by the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. Participation in the voluntary LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility Additional environmentally friendly design elements were included in the building that may achieve gold-level certification. The Forest Service will apply for LEED certification in the coming months.
The 8,500-square-foot building is 30 percent more efficient than a standard office building and includes a state-of-the-art underground geothermal heating and cooling system. The system uses the earth as a heat source in the winter and the earth as a cooling source in the summer. This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs.
The new Appalachian Ranger District office includes other “green” features such as:
• 50 percent water savings, compared to a standard building;
• Products with low volatile organic compounds that improve air quality and promote a healthy work environment; and
• Storm water control (no off site storm water).
• Construction began last spring and was concluded in recent weeks. The project employed local contractors and workers.
Office hours for the Appalachian Ranger District are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The district is part of the Pisgah National Forest. For more information on the Pisgah National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc.