In October of 2003, just five months after it opened as Vermont’s premier lake aquarium and science center, ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain was awarded Vermont’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Green Building Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
ECHO also holds the honor of being the only lake aquarium in the United States with this certification. In 2012, ECHO’s new Revision Revision Lake Side Pavilion expansion is anticipated to be awarded the highest certification, LEED Platinum.
In order to become a LEED Certified building, ECHO had to meet stringent standards that measures sustainable building and development practices. LEED recognizes building and construction projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.
ECHO’s strong commitment to environmental health and integrating green innovations comes to life throughout the building. See for yourself.
Green Guide to ECHO, an Earth-friendly LEED building: the highlights
- Natural light: Through ECHO’s vast high-efficiency triple-paned, low-e windows and sky lights, natural light floods the building, reducing the need for artificial lighting and energy use.
- Smart Building Lighting and HVAC systems: The computer controlled sensor systems register how much light is needed and senses when people are in the building. This sophisticated network allows ECHO to constantly adjust to the needs of our guests and animals—no matter the weather—to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Water Conservation: From the waterless urinals and dual-flush, low-flow toilets to water-efficient landscaping and a stormwater rain garden, ECHO makes protecting and conserving water—a precious and limited resource—a priority.
- Local Materials: Take a seat on one of the local—materials come from within 500 miles of ECHO— stone or wooden benches. The Waterwall, front desk and stone benches are fossil filled limestone (also called black or Chazy marble) quarried from Isle La Motte region on Lake Champlain. The reclaimed “live-edge” wooden benches were originally harvested from Shelburne, Vermont and made locally.
- Renewable Materials: All of the beautiful birch wood throughout ECHO is just one visible example of all of the Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) wood used in construction. The linoleum—it’s trade name is marmoleum—flooring under your feet is a natural and durable product made of linseed oil, jute/burlap, pine rosin and pigments.
- Renewable energy: As part of the new Revision Revision Lake Side Pavilion project, ECHO installed 117 solar panels on the roof that produce approximately 27kw of power which is about 8% of ECHO’s annual usage. ECHO also installed a geothermal closed-loop heat exchanger system. The system uses the ambient temperature of ground to cool the air inside ECHO during the heat of the summer.
ECHO uses its energy efficient and sustainable practices as a way to teach visitors about the practices they can adopt in their own lives to help our planet. We delight in passing these lessons on to everyone who enters ECHO whether for day-time enjoyment of the aquarium or for a special event. Each moment is an opportunity to teach about stewardship of our water and our land.
Simply by choosing ECHO for your event, you are 75% on your way to creating a “green” event and you have committed 100% towards educating your guests and empowering them to make smarter, more sustainable choices in their own life.
To schedule your event, contact Rachel Conner, ECHO’s Event Manager at 877-324-6386, ext. 143 or email her directly. You may also submit an event information request form.