PGAV Destinations Ruby Falls project recognised with Environmental Stewardship Award

PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations, has announced that Ruby Falls is to receive a Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for sustainability initiatives.

PGAV Destinations is proud to announce that Ruby Falls, the newly expanded mountain attraction in Chattanooga, TN, is to receive a distinguished award in recognition of its sustainability initiatives. PGAV Destinations designed the Ruby Falls expansion in 2018 and is delighted that the project is being honoured for its positive impact.

On the 1st August 2019, Ruby Falls will receive a Governor’s Environmental Steward Award (GESA). The Building Green accolade recognises the project’s positive impact on the local resources and communities. This award highlights “exceptional voluntary actions” that improve or protect the environment and natural resources.

An ecologically sensitive project

The Ruby Falls expansion project included over 40 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) initiatives to ensure that health, wellbeing, energy efficiency, water conservation, and community access were at the forefront of the expansion. Confirmation of LEED certification is expected in the coming weeks.

This much-loved attraction is the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public in the USA. It welcomes over half a million guests annually. as it nears its second century of operation. For this historically and environmentally important site, sustainability was key throughout the project.

During the project, over 22,716 tons of rock were repurposed. In addition to this, more than 75% of all construction waste was recycled. More than 20% of materials were manufactured within a 500-mile radius. “The design and construction of this spectacular addition incorporated sustainable features from the very beginning, with the goals of reducing energy use, providing comfortable environments for guests and staff, and optimizing building performance for years to come,” said Diane Lochner, PGAV Destinations vice president and project lead.

“We are thrilled for the Ruby Falls team to receive this well-deserved award, both for innovating their own property as well as serving as an exemplary sustainability model for the state of Tennessee.”

PGAV Destination Ruby Falls

Continuous sustainability

“Our entire team resolved to become more environmentally sustainable and that’s a journey that never ends. We continue to stretch and grow our endeavours as we learn more about sustainability practices, what impacts the environment and as technology develops,” said Ruby Falls President, Hugh Morrow.

“This recognition demonstrates that continuous sustainability advancements are possible, for small businesses, large enterprises, and even on a personal level in your own home. We hope Ruby Falls’ journey towards sustainability inspires others to pursue these opportunities.”

The PGAV team designed a project which would protect the local ecology and provide the maximum amount of open green space. The expansion’s thermally efficient envelope, low-E windows, LED lighting and controls, efficient HVAC system, building automation system, stormwater management strategies, water-conserving plumbing fixtures and rainwater collection and filtration system for landscape irrigation all contribute to mitigating the common environmental impact of projects of similar scope.

PGAV Destinations recently designed a new Apollo XII exhibit for the Virginia Air and Space Center (VASC), which was launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. At the centre of the new exhibition is the Yankee Clipper command module – the only portion of the second moon mission’s assembly to return to Earth.