City opens ‘green’ visitor center

We knew it was expensive; now we know it's green. The city of Charlottesville has just opened its new downtown visitor center and administrative offices, and the massive new project is intended to be completely environmentally friendly.

The visitor center, part of the new transit center, was designed to be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design initiative. Among the eco-savvy features are everything from low-flow faucets to recycled ceiling tiles, according to a press release.

The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes this environmentally minded effort will appeal both to native green freaks and visitors to the city.

"Charlottesville and Albemarle County have a tremendous interest in preservation because of our historic and natural resources," said Mark Shore, director and CEO of the project. "This building represents our community's passion for responsible and sustainable tourism."

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5 comments

Kind of ironic that a building designed to transfer people among pollution-spewing buses is considered "green."

And always rather humorous to see the back door propped open to allow some warm air to make it to the employee desk as the air conditioner cranks away.

actually, public transport is more sustainable becuase it reduces the number of cars on the road. It may look like more pollution, but it is still less then the cars replaced. Plus, there's the social equity aspect and less congestion.

It would be great if they could switch to clearner-running fuel. I know they tried electric buses, too bad it didn't work out. (the buses couldn't make it up the hills!)

I would be surprised if the majority of the riders on CTS are riding the bus by choice (other than they choose to pay bus fares rather than pay for a car, pay insurance, etc). I get the sense that the bus is their only form of transportation, and don't think many people use the bus to avoid using their car. In Charlottesville I don't think many people ride the bus as commuters or for environmental reasons. Therefore, the buses aren't actually replacing cars - for the most part, they seem to be replacing walking. I could be wrong, but having grown up in D.C. and being very familiar with mass transit there - where it IS an alternative to driving, parking, etc, the buses here just don't seem to be making the same sort of impact.

And they DO spew horrible pollution - nothing much worse on the senses than diesel smoke!

interesting response but walking isn't always an option (distance, health issues, groceries, weather) and I do know one rider at least who uses it so that he and his SO can remain a one car family. Considering the clusterf that is parking at UVA, (one of the largest employers in town, I bet a lot of folks go bus rather then deal with taking their car.

I agree with you about not wanting to be stuck behind one though someone needs to push for them to move to a bio-blend!