• Florissant Fossil Beds NM Visitor Center and Museum/Research Facility
  • Exhibit/Display Area at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center
  • 11 Roof-mounted Solar Thermal Collectors and 10 kW of Roof-mounted PV Panels
  • Information Desk and Gift Shop at Florissant Fossil Beds NM Visitor Center
  • Exhibit/Display Area at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center
  • Solar Furnace Mounted on the Side of Florissant Fossil Beds NM Visitor Center
  • Signage for Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center
  • Theater/Multi-use Room at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center
  • National Park Service

    Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado

    Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument was established in 1969 to preserve fossils of plants, insects, birds, fish, and small mammals which inhabited the site more than 34 million years ago. At 4,400 SF, the park’s new visitor center and museum/research facility is nearly 2.5 times the size of the former visitor center, a 1920’s-era farmhouse that was repurposed as a “temporary” visitor center more than 40 years ago. To support the park’s visitor center functions, the facility houses exhibit and display areas, a theater/multi-use room, a lobby, a gift shop, an information desk, and staff offices. The facility also contains paleontology workspaces for extracting and preserving fossil artifacts, as well as ample storage space to safeguard thousands of fragile fossils. Integrated sustainable design technologies were implemented throughout the new LEED-Gold-certified facility to enhance building performance and occupant comfort. The RMH Group utilized 11 roof-mounted solar thermal collectors (totaling 275,00 Btu’s) to supplement building and domestic water heating. The energy produced from these solar thermal collectors is preserved through a thermal storage system utilizing 700 gallons of a glycol solution to deliver heat wherever and whenever it is needed. A solar furnace is mounted on the side of the building to harness the sun’s energy to heat air prior to being distributed throughout the facility. Heat recovery ventilators are used to provide building ventilation and to reclaim heat energy that would normally be expelled to the atmosphere. Radiant floor heating was implemented to deliver a comfortable environment for building occupants, while requiring less energy and maintenance than conventional heating systems. The visitor center’s central tower plays a key role in facilitating daylight penetration into the building and regulating building heat by collecting thermal energy during the winter months. During the summer months, vents located at the top of the tower are designed to expel hot air from the building, thereby eliminating the need for air conditioning. Other key sustainable design features include a sophisticated lighting/daylighting control system to optimize the amount of healthy natural light brought into building spaces, 10 KW of roof-mounted photovoltaic (solar) panels, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. By employing these and other highly sustainable design technologies, the new facility is anticipated to require approximately two-thirds less energy than the much smaller visitor center it has since replaced.
 

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Visitor Center and Research Facility

National Park Service

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument was established in 1969 to preserve fossils of plants, insects, birds, fish, and small mammals which inhabited the site more than 34 million years ago. At 4,400 SF, the park’s new visitor center and museum/research facility is nearly 2.5 times the size of the former visitor center, a 1920’s-era farmhouse that was repurposed as a “temporary” visitor center more than 40 years ago. To support the park’s visitor center functions, the facility houses exhibit and display areas, a theater/multi-use room, a lobby, a gift shop, an information desk, and staff offices. The facility also contains paleontology workspaces for extracting and preserving fossil artifacts, as well as ample storage space to safeguard thousands of fragile fossils.

Integrated sustainable design technologies were implemented throughout the new LEED-Gold-certified facility to enhance building performance and occupant comfort. The RMH Group utilized 11 roof-mounted solar thermal collectors (totaling 275,00 Btu’s) to supplement building and domestic water heating. The energy produced from these solar thermal collectors is preserved through a thermal storage system utilizing 700 gallons of a glycol solution to deliver heat wherever and whenever it is needed. A solar furnace is mounted on the side of the building to harness the sun’s energy to heat air prior to being distributed throughout the facility. Heat recovery ventilators are used to provide building ventilation and to reclaim heat energy that would normally be expelled to the atmosphere. Radiant floor heating was implemented to deliver a comfortable environment for building occupants, while requiring less energy and maintenance than conventional heating systems.

The visitor center’s central tower plays a key role in facilitating daylight penetration into the building and regulating building heat by collecting thermal energy during the winter months. During the summer months, vents located at the top of the tower are designed to expel hot air from the building, thereby eliminating the need for air conditioning.

Other key sustainable design features include a sophisticated lighting/daylighting control system to optimize the amount of healthy natural light brought into building spaces, 10 KW of roof-mounted photovoltaic (solar) panels, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. By employing these and other highly sustainable design technologies, the new facility is anticipated to require approximately two-thirds less energy than the much smaller visitor center it has since replaced.

Certifications

Certified LEED-NC Gold

Video Links

See a three dimensional fly-through video of the new Visitor Education and Museum/Research Facility.
The National Park Service made a fun music video touting the facility's many sustainable design features.