Foothills Learning Center
Honored with the Cooperative Conservation Award, presented by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorn, the Foothills Learning Center was designed to be an example of energy conservation and fire-safe design. This educational facility is the home for Idaho’s first commercial fuel cell. With a photovoltaic system, this donation by Idaho Power will provide not only enough electricity for the facility, but enough to surplus back into the power grid. This fuel cell will also work in tandem with a hydraulic heat pump system to supply the Environmental Center with mechanical heating and cooling. Other sustainable design features include a vaulted clerestory roof structure. This feature offers several benefits by not only utilizing natural diffused daylight but also offering passive solar gain and natural ventilation. A sustainable approach was also taken with the exterior of the building with a native, low maintenance, landscape plan.