Triangle, VA - The National Museum of the Marine Corps is green. Virginia Green that is and Louis Landerer, the Museum's environmental coordinator and Mike Reeser, an intern in that department, received Marine Corps Base Quantico's Environmental Stewardship Award for their work in the "greening" process.
"The Museum is the only facility on the installation with the distinction of being a Green facility and these gentlemen are setting the standard model for the way ahead for the base" said Col. David Maxwell, commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Quantico. "It's not surprising that the Museum, which represents all the best about the Corps' history, would also be setting the standard for energy conservation for the future."
The Museum's designation as a Green Attraction, partially attributable to Landerer and Reeser's work, was granted by a partnership of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association for being committed to protecting the environment while promoting responsible tourism.
"Just as it is our responsibility to protect and preserve the material history of the Marine Corps, it is also our responsibility to do our part to protect the environment," NMMC Director Lin Ezell said. "For that reason, we involved all entities of the museum, including staff, volunteers, contractors, and the half million annual visitors in our recycle, reuse, reduce program."
From the beginning, responsiveness to energy and environmental needs were key elements, even in the design of the building. Fentress Bradburn Architects, Ltd.'s strong innovative design combines energy-conserving and sustainable elements with an image that suggests the strength of the Marine Corps.
The building incorporates many environment-friendly approaches, to include highly recycled building materials and a green roof system along with bioretention facilities to filter site runoff. Green roofs help with insulation of a building as well as extend the life of the roof by as much as two times that of a traditional roof. The design also uses natural daylight as one approach to reduce long-term operating costs. The use of natural daylight in the atrium, office, and cafeteria spaces of the Museum helps reduce electrical use and long-term operating costs.
Changing many of the lighting elements in the Museum from incandescent to LED has also resulted in a reduction of energy use and reduced the impact of light on the artifacts on display. To date the Museum has replaced more than 1,000 traditional fixtures with the LED systems, reducing energy consumption by up to 75%.
Reeser worked closely with the Museum's Tun Tavern and Devil Dog Diner to reduce waste by using reusable dinnerware and sending used oils to be recycled. Disposable products are made from recycled materials where possible and recycle bins are provided for those products. They even offer sustainable wines for their customers.
Conservations efforts continue outside the Museum as well. Native grasses and plants are used throughout the campus, reducing the need for irrigation. Landerer implemented utility conservation that resulted in a 15% reduction in water used for the Museum's irrigation by optimizing the time of day the system runs to allow more water to be absorbed rather than evaporate. Recycle containers are placed outside and just inside the Museum, encouraging staff and visitors alike to recycle their used drink containers and papers. The Museum Store uses special refuse containers near the back of the Museum to dispose of cardboard products.
Preserving the material history of a "lean, green, fighting machine" in a green way is just the Museum's part of protecting the environment while the Marines protect the nation.
The National Museum of the Marine Corps is located at 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Va. The Museum, which opened November 10, 2006, brings to life the U.S. Marine Corps' rich history and honors the commitment, accomplishments, and sacrifices of all Marines. It is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day except Christmas. Parking and admission are always free.
For more information on the National Museum of the Marine Corps, call 703-784-6107.