The 5,000 sq. ft. Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Alamo, NV, is a marvel of clean energy generation and usage, achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE) and anticipating LEED Silver accreditation. In fact, first-year data collected by CTA’s Energy Services department showed the facility is well below ZNE, pushing almost twice as much energy as it consumed back to the electrical grid. Conservation measures included upgraded building insulation, daylight harvesting, and ground-source geothermal HVAC, while on-site renewable energy is provided by roof-mounted photovoltaic panels.

Read more about the allure and incredible energy-efficiency of the facility in this July 2015 blog post:
Pahranagat NWR a desert oasis for birders and sustainability gurus alike.

The center includes office space for staff, visitor facilities, lobby, reception area, multi-purpose room, exhibit room, and public restrooms. Exterior elements include parking for visitor buses/RVs, passenger cars, and staff vehicles. ADA-accessible trails give access to the site’s amenities, which include a seasonal stream with associated riparian area, vistas, and interpretive displays.

Our team sought inspiration from the cultural history of the area, and the landscape, forms, and native wildlife. The central design theme included elemental building materials and abstract rectilinear proportions in plan and elevation to reflect on the distinctive landscape of the Pahranagat Valley. The facility incorporates aspects that are important to the native populace such as an east-facing entry and banding reflective of the red-tailed hawk.