Zion Comfort Station


Springdale, UT


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Building type
Building type
Floor Area (ft2)
Floor Area (m2)
Date of Occupancy/ Completion
Annual Purchased Energy (kBtu/ft2)
Annual Purchased Energy (MJ/m2)
Certifications & Awards
Project Team
  • Owner: National Park Service/Department of the Interior


The visitor center and comfort station are open from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM year round.

**This building was originally imported from the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Building Technologies Database (http://eere.buildinggreen.com/overview.cfm?projectid=20) on 2009-06-06. Please confirm that the import was successful, login, and remove this message. Help make the Green Building Brain better.**


  • Location: Springdale, UT
  • Building type(s): Other, Park
  • New construction
  • 2,400 sq. feet (223 sq. meters)
  • Project scope: a single building
  • Rural setting
  • Completed May 2000
  • Related projects: This project is within Zion Visitor Center.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned and occupied by National Park Service/Department of the Interior, Federal government

The visitor center and comfort station are open from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM year round.

Building Programs

Indoor Spaces: Restrooms (100%)


Integrated team, Training, Commissioning, Performance measurement and verification, Operations and maintenance, Transportation benefits, Open space preservation, Wildlife habitat, Indigenous vegetation, Stormwater management, Drought-tolerant landscaping, Insulation levels, Glazing, Airtightness, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, On-site renewable electricity, Local materials, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Thermal comfort

Team & Process

  • DOE-2.1e
  • SERI-REs
Steve Burns National Park Service--Denver Service Center Landscape architect Denver, CO
Krista Copeland National Park Service--Denver Service Center Architect Denver, CO
[James Crockett](learnmore.cfm?ProjectID=20) National Park Service--Denver Service Center Architect Denver, CO
Larry Kilborn National Park Service--Denver Service Center Architect Denver, CO
Victoria Stinson National Park Service--Denver Service Center Landscape architect Denver, CO
Paul Torcellini National Renewable Energy Laboratory Energy consultant, Senior engineer Golden, CO

The design team also included:

  • Electrical engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Contractor
  • Owner/developer
  • Civil engineer
  • Mechanical engineer

Bringing you a prosperous future where energy is clean, abundant, reliable, and affordable

Land Use & Community

The site is within walking distance of two shuttle bus routes and commercial amenities. Bicycle and pedestrian transportation are encouraged with bike racks and shower/changing facilities.

  • Responsible Planning

    • Ensure that development fits within a responsible local and regional planning framework

  • Support for Appropriate Transportation

    • Provide showers and changing areas for bicycle and pedestrian commuters

    • Provide storage area for bicycles
  • Property Selection Opportunities

    • Select already-developed sites for new development

Site Description

Using this site, previously a campground, avoided unnecessary impact of natural and cultural resources. No undeveloped lands were used. Underutilized, existing areas in Springdale were used for parking and facility development. Construction was phased to minimize disturbance. Topsoil was stockpiled, runoff was diverted to existing sediment-catching areas, existing vegetation was maintained, no soil was transported off site, and dust control was implemented in roadwork adjacent to the existing campground.

Native low-water-use grasses and shrubs were used for landscaping. Historic irrigation channels were restored. Collected rainwater joins river water and is diverted through a series of gravity-fed irrigation ditches. High-efficiency irrigation techniques and drip irrigation with a weather data controller were installed primarily to encourage the reestablishment of native vegetation. (It may be possible to achieve 100% reduction of potable water for landscaping after plant establishment.)

  • Previously developed land

  • Development Impacts

    • Minimize development impact area
    • Limit parking area
  • Ecosystem Restoration

    • Replant damaged sites with native vegetation
  • Landscape Plantings

    • Plant trees to shade parked vehicles
  • Construction Impacts

    • Designate appropriate staging areas for construction-related activities

  • Demand for Irrigation

    • Select plants for drought tolerance
  • Integration with Site Resources

    • Use light-colored pavement to reduce heat island effect
  • Irrigation Systems

    • Use appropriate grading to retain irrigation and reduce runoff
    • Use water-efficient irrigation fixtures
  • Low-Impact Siting

    • Select an already-developed portion of a site for new development


A 70% reduction in energy use was met through the design and implementation of natural ventilation, efficient lighting combined with daylighting, effective glazing, insulation, a passive downdraft cooltower, Trombe walls, energy-efficient landscaping, and an energy management system.

The measured site energy consumption intensity is 19 kbtu/sq.ft./year.


Materials & Resources

20% of materials, including stone, concrete, and paving, were manufactured within 500 miles (800 km) of the site.

Cleared vegetation and pavement were recycled.

  • Design for Materials Use Reduction

    • Reconsider whether all space demands in building program are needed

  • Recycling by Occupants

    • Specify recycling receptacles that are accessible to the occupants

  • Transportation of Materials

    • Prefer materials that are sourced and manufactured within the local area

Indoor Environment

Cool towers (which provide over 5 air changes per hour) and operable windows provide natural ventilation to building occupants. Thermal, ventilation, and lighting systems may be controlled by users. Extensive daylighting was implemented. The building remained unoccupied for 2 weeks following construction, while commissioning and final punch items were completed.

  • Visual Comfort and The Building Envelope

    • Use skylights and/or clerestories for daylighting
  • Visual Comfort and Interior Design

    • Design open floor plans to allow exterior daylight to penetrate to the interior

  • Ventilation and Filtration Systems

    • Provide occupants with access to operable windows
  • Ventilation During Construction

    • Purge the building of VOCs during furniture installation prior to move-in

  • Building Commissioning for IEQ

    • Use a comprehensive commissioning process to ensure that design intent is realized

  • Facility Policies for IEQ

    • Recommend a non-smoking policy for the building

Bringing you a prosperous future where energy is clean, abundant, reliable, and affordableBringing you a prosperous future where energy is clean, abundant, reliable, and affordable

Learn More

It is possible to visit this project. The Visitor Center is open year round from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

James Crockett National Park Service--Denver Service Center Architect 12795 W. Alameda Parkway P.O. Box 25287 Denver, CO  80225 303-969-2386
Paul Torcellini National Renewable Energy Laboratory 1617 Cole Blvd. Golden, CO  80401 303-384-7528