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Sustainability Solutions No. 14: Silver Certification for the Sacramento Ranger District Office
Image of the front of the Sacramento Ranger District Office building.
Figure 1—The Sacramento Ranger District Office at
the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico.

The Sacramento Ranger District Office (figure 1) at the Lincoln National Forest is the first U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service office in the Southwestern Region to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The building in Cloudcroft, NM, received silver level certification from the Green Building Certification Institute. The institute verifies that buildings are designed and built to achieve high performance in five areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Construction on the district office began in September 2007 using mostly local contractors (about 95 percent from the Alamogordo area). The innovative nature of the project became immediately evident when a local firm ground 7,000 cubic yards of bedrock excavated from the construction site into gravel. This gravel subsequently formed the base course beneath the building, parking lots, and road. Employees began moving into the new 9,880-square-foot district office in March 2009.

Image of a landscaped area that is used to collect surface water.
Figure 2—The surface water collected here recharges
the local aquifer.

The district office incorporates many sustainable features, including a storm water collection system where surface water filters down to recharge the local aquifer (figure 2); large windows to reduce the need for artificial lighting (figure 3); dual-flow toilets with signs by each toilet directing users to lift the control for a light flush (1.1 gallons per flush) or down for a heavy flush (1.6 gallons per flush); automatic light components, such as occupancy sensors, timers, and light meters, which regulate the power to each light fixture group depending on the amount of natural light available; interior paint and carpet with low volatile content; and a number of items (cement, drywall, insulation, furniture, and fixtures) with high recycled content. The office also has a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system that cycles only outside air when temperatures are high enough.

The Forest Service has set a goal for a more sustainable future, and the Sacramento Ranger District Office is designed with that future in mind.

Image of a worker at the front desk of a district office.
Figure 3—Large windows at the district office provide
abundant natural light, reducing the need for
artificial lighting.

For more information about sustainable features at the Sacramento Ranger District Office, please contact:

Steve McCloskey

We're interested in what is happening in your unit. Contact Bob Beckley at 406–329–3996 to share your sustainability solutions with others in the Forest Service.