This month we focus on the development of SITES-certified spaces for meerkats who live at a Zoo, and for a multi-generational residential community in Austin, Texas.
Mary Elizabeth Branch Park is in the Mueller community, a mixed-income, mixed-use urban village in Austin, Texas. The 3.5-acre park meets the various recreation needs of a multi-generational community, featuring a creative children’s playground, a dog run, two sand volleyball courts, an interactive waterscape, and a large open lawn space and shady areas for picnics. SITES Certification was an important goal for Mueller’s master developer Catellus Development Corp., the City of Austin, Design Workshop, and the design and construction teams, who all collaborated on this effort.
Claire Hempell, Principal, Design Workshop
Brian Dolezal, Vice President, Catellus (invited)
John Ball Zoo's Meerkat exhibit is the first zoo project to achieve SITES certification. By building a meerkat habitat to SITES certification, JBZ reduced water demand, filtered and reduced storm water runoff, provided wildlife habitat, reduced energy consumption, improved air quality and human health and increased outdoor recreation opportunities. The exhibit employs rain gardens and leaching basins for storm water. Along with being aesthetically appealing, JBZ has also installed a green roof and solar panels on the canopy to offset outdoor lighting needs. And, whenever possible, the site was built with recycled content. Through the use of an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation unit), there are no CO2 emissions. This innovative habitat also integrates play for children to mimic meerkat behavior, along with a pathway that is accessible.
Shayna Kerkstra, Project Manager, Catalyst Partners
Allmon Forrester, Director of Facilities, John Ball Zoo