Swaner EcoCenter

Just before we left Park City, we stopped for a tour of the Swaner EcoCenter. This past weekend was supposed to be the center’s grand opening, but construction and other delays have pushed back the gala event until 2009. Nevertheless, we sought out (in advance) and received a private tour of the unfinished building. 

After two beautiful and mostly sunny days, we were greeted by a very rainy and raw Monday morning. The center was a perfect refuge from the storm brewing outside. A pre-tour visit to the center website showed a really cool video of the construction process. I was immediately drawn in and wanted to learn more. The center sits on the 1200 acre Swaner Nature Preserve

The video seemed to imply that the center was in the middle of nowhere, or at least somewhere deep in the wilderness. When we realized that it was a stone’s throw from a hotel, a Best Buy, a Whole Foods Market, a bunch of other gussied up strip mall shops, and the freeway…then we appreciated the center and preserve even more. I guess they could have just paved all that grass land and built more luxury condominiums for well heeled ski bums. I don’t mean to be harsh. Development happens, but smart development rarely does. 

At least this one building is making an effort to do things a little bit better. It was sited properly, powered by a solar PV system, loaded with recycled materials (e.g. beams reclaimed from the Great Salt Lake, denim insulation, sunflower seed counters, coal combustion by-product floors, bamboo floors, nice windows, etc.), and meant to be light on the environment. Even the rain water pouring down on the roof during our tour was being collected in a giant cistern to be used again. The center is well on its way towards achieving USGBC LEED Platinum certification. It seemed as if cost was no object.

We were suitably impressed with the building and the mission of the center, which now includes educating the public about green building techniques and other eco-friendly practices. Apparently, when it is done, it will be the “greenest” building in Utah and one of the greenest in the world. Like great art, our society needs more examples like this so that the rest of us can draw inspiration and apply a little bit of the knowledge gained in our own little world.

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Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

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