10 Things that Make the Visitor Center “Green”

By Erin Carlson Mast
This is the 6th installment of “100 Things to Know about President Lincoln’s Cottage.”  Today’s list looks at 10 things that make the President Lincoln’s Cottage Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center  (pictured above) “green.”  The list is simplified and not all-inclusive.  Some of these items translate to more than one point on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) checklist.  Previous posts in this series may be viewed under the category “100 Things to Know.”   Upcoming lists will feature Tad, Mary, and historical uses of the Cottage.
  1. We reused an entire building including the windows, historic tile, trim, and fixtures.  We turned the existing 1905 administrative building into the Visitor Education Center for the Cottage.
  2. The Visitor Education Center features a bike rack and staff shower to encourage staff to ride their bikes or walk to work (the majority of staff ride a bike, take public transit, or walk to the site).
  3. President Lincoln’s Cottage is metro accessible (via the H8 bus stop right outside the gate and 2 metro stations 1 mile away from the entrance: http://www.wmata.com/).
  4. We recycle paper, cardboard, glass, cans, and plastic bottles.  Though the Home does not currently have a service to pick-up glass, cans, and plastic, our site still collect these items and a staff member takes them to a recycling facility once every few weeks. 
  5. We use natural lighting whenever possible and compact fluorescent (CF) lighting where we need additional light.  Some historic fixtures in this building have incandescent lamps to stay true to their historical appearance, but the majority are CFs.
  6. We used low-VOC and/or recycled products (paint, bathroom counter tops, carpeting, etc.).
  7. The bathrooms feature low flow faucets and toilets.
  8. The mechanical systems and appliances are energy efficient (and we increased ventilation in the building) and controllable (the HVAC has occupied and unoccupied settings, and it’s easy for staff to turn it off entirely and use the windows on pleasant days).
  9. We use green housekeeping products for cleaning the building interior.
  10. We maximized open spaces in site development.
Ms. Mast is the Curator for President Lincoln’s Cottage

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