Park Service Hopes New Office will be 1st LEED-Certified Floating Building in the World

NPS Photo / Andrew S. Muñoz

The next time you're in Nevada at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and are renting a boat or houseboat, you might be filling out paperwork inside the world's first eco-friendly floating building. A new operations structure was dedicated today as paperwork to register it for LEED certification was sent out.

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Located south of the Hoover Dam on Lake Mohave, the floating building will be used by Forever Resorts, a park vendor, as an operations office at the Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is a certification offered by the U.S. Green Building Council to provide a framework for green buildings, from design to construction to maintenance. For example, rice hulls and recycled plastic make up the decking, and recycled tires are used as the structure's exterior stucco. National Park Service officials will have to wait a couple of months to find out if their building will earn a certification, but they're hoping for a gold ranking, the second highest honor.

Whatever the outcome, it could inspire future building designs. "We're setting the standard for eco-friendly floating buildings," said Superintendent Bill Dickinson. "There's no better place than in a national park to do that."

Near Las Vegas, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the fifth most-visited National Park unit in the system, hosting some 7 million people each year. It covers 1.5 million acres, which includes Lake Mead and Mojave, and portions of the Colorado River.

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