The Alabama 4-H Center wanted to create a strong identity for its new environmental education center on Lay Lake. The design had to meet functional requirements of 14,000 school children who visit each year and achieve LEED Gold Certification. Davis Architects met the challenge by combining natural stone and wood with steel and recycled materials – modeling sustainability. Environmental laboratories and display areas on the lower level support 4-H’s Environmental Field School, while the upper level includes seminar rooms, multi-function space for 400 people, and a catering kitchen. A tall observation deck enables students to study nature from treetop level.
Completed on time and within budget, the new center has gained visibility and garnered awards. A year after completion in 2007, the facility celebrated its LEED Gold Certification – a distinction only one other building in Alabama, and no other 4-H facility in the nation, had ever achieved before.