Visitors center [Environmental center : Supporting materials : Data]

Visitors center [Environmental center : Supporting materials : Data]

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Visitors center [Environmental center : Supporting materials : Data]
Translated Title:
Centro de visitantes [Centro del medio ambiente: Materiales de apoyo: Datos]
Monteverde Institute
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Subjects / Keywords:
Data and analysis
Sustainable Futures 2003
letter ( marcgt )



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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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M37-00057 ( USFLDC DOI )
m37.57 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Centro de visitantes [Centro del medio ambiente: Materiales de apoyo: Datos]
Visitors center [Environmental center : Supporting materials : Data]
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Data and analysis
Sustainable Futures 2003
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MONTEVERDE ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER Design Proposals nrn Project Team Faculty members: Jason Niebler, M.S. Agroforestry Instructor, Field Course Coordinator, Monteverde In stitute; David Meyers, University of Maryland; Scott Shannon, SUNY/ESF -Sy racuse; Ed Smart, Villa Maria College; Tony Miller, SUNY/ESF Syracuse Student members: Anne Elrod, Ryan Fitzsimmons, Davi d Means, Juliet Strouse, Tim Wilson


TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Background 1.2 Goals and conceptual framework 2.0 Precedent Studies 2.1 Purpose of studies 2.2 Description of study sites 2.3 Analysis of study sites 3.0 Design Proposals 3.1 Program 3.2 Site analysis 3.3 Scheme A 3.4 Scheme B 4.0 Conclusion 5.0 Next Steps 6.0 Appendices 7.0 References 7.1 Precedent studies reference list 7.2 Additional resources


1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. Background Over the past few years the Monteverde Region has rapidly expanded in terms of population and commerc ial growth. It has been studied and concluded that the region has both a need and opportunity for a center to meet the ne eds of incoming populations and the community. As tourism and population continue to increase, the center could be a focal point for the community as well as a “gateway” to the area. The center could potential ly capture the character, history and vision of the community as well as educate people about ways to better our environment and man age Monteverde’s unique and fragile ecological and biological structure. 1.2 Goals and conceptual framework The overall goal of the project was to create a ce nter in which visitors to the region could learn ab out Monteverde before entering the actual area, as well as create a place for community members to hold events. From the fi rst iteration of the project, the client presented four goals including: The center should serve as a gateway to the comm unity The center should disseminate information about local businesses and events The center should project an image of a sustaina ble Monteverde The center should address regional traffic and p arking issues In addition to these four requests, the Sustainabl e Futures team felt that the following goals should also be included: The center should take into account local histor y, ecology and environmental history of the Monteve rde region The center should be a working model of sustaina ble technologies and a physical example of a center that cares about its surrounding ecosystem


2. PRECEDENT STUDIES Note: These studies originated from work done from the first iteration of the Environmental Center fr om the previous term. 2.1. Purpose of studies Precedent studies were conducted on other existing sites for several reasons. Precedent studies serv e to inform planners and designers of previous work and/or examples related to a given project. In this case, studies of exist ing sites provided information on sustainable design as it applies to multi-use commu nity and visitor centers. This knowledge base serv es two purposes: it provides the design team with an indication of what is realistically feasible and cost effective it helps the design team form ideas on what desig n features to demonstrate and apply to the site in question Four studies were undertaken by the design team, ea ch described briefly in the following section. 2.2. Description of study sites The four studies varied in location, site conditio ns, building type, and demonstration of sustainabil ity. The four sites and site locations are listed below: Knapp St. Lab/Environmental Visitor Center Coney Island (Brooklyn), New York, United States of America Located in one of the worldÂ’s largest cites along t he east coast of the United States, the Visitor Cen ter is situated in a temperate climate greatly influenced by the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The Center also serves a water tre atment plant in the urban region. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, United States of A merica


The Arboretum is located on the campus of the Unive rsity of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul. The nort hern plain states, including Minnesota, experience mild summer s and harsh winters. Zion National Park Visitor Center Springdale, Utah, United States of America The Visitor Center of Zion National Park is located in the arid desert of the southwestern U.S. The s ite serves as a center for visitors of the park. UNEP-IETC Environmental Technology Centre (ETC) Perth, Western Australia The ETC is located in the arid west coast of Aust ralia. The ETC serves a research center for sustai nable technology. Meanwhile, the WAATIJ Building, the subject of the precedent study, demonstrates numerous sustainable technologies researched at the center. 2.3. Analysis of study sites Knapp St. Lab/Environmental Visitor Center Below are some of the sustainable features in use a t the center: a. Use of natural light b. Active and passive solar power c. Use of non-renewable sources minimized d. Drip irrigation for watering plants on the site e. Low water fixtures in toilets f. Rainwater collected below ground g. Regional material used which supports the local eco nomy h. Reduces transportation demands and costs


i. Use of high post and pre-consumer recycled content j. Wood harvested from sustainable forests k. Salvaged materials, such as discarded automobile wi ndshield glass Economic, educational, and environmental potential benefits of the design include: a. Reduction of harmful gaseous emissions b. Reuse of durable materials creates efficiency, and reduces waste c. High quality of materials requires less repair and replacement d. Design features did not exceed 5% of costs given st andard materials e. Renewable energy and energy conservation reduced he ating costs by 40%, cooling costs by 30%, and elect rical costs by 10% (estimated energy savings: total costs are 29% lower than of a standard building) f. Educates public on sustainability (ignorance vs. ap athy vs. learning) g. Provides a clear, living example of self sufficient /sustaining use of materials Several critiques of the Knapp St. Center were reve aled in our study: a. Education component of the Center is still unclear b. The building has yet to be built c. Coney IslandÂ’s climate differs dramatically from Lo s Llanos Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Below are some of the sustainable features in use a t the center: a. Geothermal energy system b. Rain gardens c. Run-off gardens Economic, educational, and environmental potential benefits of the design include:


a. Geothermal thermal energy systems lowers energy costs and reduces reliance on fossil fuels, as wel l as CO2 emissions b. Rain gardens and run-off gardens improve infilt ration which reduce on-site erosion c. Rain gardens help maximize pollutant removal d. Interactive sensory gardens, tree exhibit, rest aurant, outdoor terraces, auditorium and classrooms support multiple uses Several critiques of the Minnesota Landscape Arbore tum: a. Use of geothermal energy is not widely applicab le b. Extreme temperature conditions of site vary con siderably from Monteverde Zion National Park Visitor Center Below are some of the sustainable features (and the ir benefits) in use at the center: a. A Trombe wall provides most of the heating for the Zion National Park Visitor Center building b. PV panels on the south roof (7,200 watts) provide a pproximately 30% of the electricity needed. Excess power is sold back to the power company for use elsewhere (n et metering) c. Passive down draft cooltower d. Energy efficient landscaping, including shade s tructures that form outdoor “rooms” e. Natural ventilation cooling means outside air fl ows through the building to remove the warm inside air and replace it with cooler outside air (includes cleres tory windows) f. Thermal mass flooring: concrete absorbs and sto res the sun's heat, which helps heat the building g. Overhang/ventilation/placement h. Bus shuttle system: relieves congestion and pol lution; 50% of the transportation system operates outside the park, thereby utilizing existing parking areas and development. This reduces traffic and improves comm unity relations Economic, educational, and environmental potential benefits of the design include:


a. The facility is expecting 80% energy-savings over c onventional visitor centers b. The park is expected to save $16,000 per year in en ergy costs c. Provides an award-winning example of a living, educational demonstration of sustainable design in practice Critiques of the Zion National Park Visitor Center: a. Cost of implementing sustainable features was hi gh b. Climate of Springdale, Utah differs dramatically from Los Llanos The WAALITJ building at the UNEP-IETC Environmental Technology Centre (ETC) Below are several of the 28 sustainable features in use at the center a. Siting: the site for the Waalitj complex in the south-west corner of the Environmental Technology C entre was chosen because it minimized the need for road works and earthworks b. Passive solar design c. Solar Hot Water System d. Water conservation: rainwater tank, subsurface i rrigation, constructed wetland, and permaculture Economic, educational, and environmental potential benefits of the design include: a. Integrated environmentally sustainable technolog ies are appropriate to remote and developing commun ities b. Integrated approach combines research with appli cation within the same site c. Technologies in use are small or medium scale wh ich translates into low-costs and efficiency d. Operates with the collaboration of over 50 indu stry partners as well as government and educational partners, United Nations and Murdoch University included Critiques of the WAALITJ building a. Advanced technology sustainable features are not easily applicable to other sites b. NABERAS Performance Rating of the complex receiv ed a score of 66% for over 50 features used


3. DESIGN PROPOSALS 3.1 Program Buildings and building interior Space required (sm) Point of entry 56 Restrooms (general) 80 Offices 42 Systems/mechanical 20 Custodial 10 Large classrooms (2) 74 Display/information space (adjacent to point of ent ry) 100 Natural/cultural museum 185 Auditorium 370 Refreshment area 20 Indoor seating 50 Outdoor seating 90 Gift shop 35 Circulation within structure 185 Total 1297 Building exterior Gazebo/overlook space 20 Parking (60 vehicles, 3 busses) 11,433 Total 11,453 Grand total 12,750 Total site area (approximately) 153,020


Program Details: Point of Entry : Gives visitors a sense of arrival, can also func tion as a place for information about businesses an d the center Restrooms : Are large enough to allow for handicapped access ibility as well as a parent with children Offices : At minimum, provide for administration and staff at center, could potentially expand to allow for o ther partners to share office space, or could be rented out to vario us organizations Systems/Mechanical : Space is allotted for plumbing needs as well as storage or supplies. Space for electronic needs is also necessary Custodial : Space is needed for cleaning supplies as well as basic supplies for building needs Large Classrooms : At minimum, two large classrooms that allow for education of both visitors and community members Display and Information : A display to allow for the dissemination of info rmation on local businesses and attractions. Could also include a desk for a guide to give verbal info rmation as well Natural Cultural Museum : Allows for visitors and locals to learn about th e history and unique ecological makeup of the Monteverde region. Also has space for exhibits and interactive displays, as well as technologies used at the center Auditorium : Seats roughly 150 people and have good acoustics Refreshment Area : Is not a full service restaurant in order to not take away from current businesses, but is a caf t hat serves drinks and small refreshments Indoor Seating : A small and comfortable space for people to sit with refreshments Outdoor Seating : Allows for families and visitors to enjoy and en gage with the surrounding environment while relaxin g after their arrival to the center Gift Shop : A source of revenue for the center. Could possi bly be a satellite business from an existing arts a nd crafts store. Could showcase local businesses Circulation Space : Allotted for the circulation throughout the buil ding, linked to the entrance and exit of the buildi ng. Is formidable enough to handle large crowds in the pea k seasons for visitors. Trail pathways are not inc luded in the total space mentioned above 3.2 Site Analysis Note: This portion originated from work done from the first iteration of the Environmental Center fro m the previous term.


3.2.1. Landscape The landscape of the site features a variety of ele ments: The main road through the Monteverde Zone runs alon g the eastern side of the site, essentially serving as a border The northeastern corner has been cleared to support a horse stable and other agricultural uses A field of tall grasses with modest changes in topo graphy rests just south of the horse stable Topography varies through the site; the general slo pe of the entire site runs downward from Northeast to Southwest Patches of forest exist in two locations: (1) a sma ll patch just west of the main road (south of the g rassland area) and (2) a large patch directly west of the small forest and grassland area The large forest area contains a variety of microcl imates, including a small arid region with dry gras ses and a small tropical area that supports banana plants Several wind breaks exist between forest fragments 3.2.2. Climate Similar to the landscape, a variety of climatic con ditions exist on the site: Strong winds (prevailing from the northeast) are pr esent in areas of higher elevation and areas contai ning low-lying vegetation. Temperatures varied with elevation and forest cover Generally, areas within the forested areas were much cooler than those areas exposed to sunlight. Much is still unknown about the climate of the Mont everde region and specifically Los Llanos, where th e site is located. The entire region contains a hybrid of li fe zones – including Montaine Wet Forest and Montia ne Moist Forest – as described by William Haber.1 1 Monteverde: Ecology and Conservation of a Tropical Cloud Forest (2000), p.41-47.


3.3 Scheme A 3.3.1. Site plan The elements of the site plan for Scheme A are as f ollows: A parking area including space for 60 vehicles, 3 b usses and a bus loop, as well as a taxi drop-off lo op Access to the visitor center building via the plaza and covered walk, placing the building due south o f the parking facility A trail system located throughout areas of the site includes programmed spaces, like lookout points f or views west of the site (looking out onto Nicoya Gulf) midway into the system A reedbed display located along the trail system An area for future development of a reedbed A farmers market for selling fruits and vegetables on weekends A greenhouse to grow saplings for future reforestat ion and agroforestry A space for agroforestry using fruit-bearing trees A climate station to observe and record climatologi cal data A pea-patch, or community garden for people to plan t vegetables, etc 3.3.2. Themes and key site features Scheme AÂ’s focus designs a center that incorporated low impact, subtle forms of conservation and susta inability. Subcategories of this theme include (1) educating v isitors to better care for the environment; (2) pro viding a working model of sustainability; and (3) providing educational facil ities that disseminate information on the local cul ture and history, environment and geography, and economy. Several key features demonstrate and apply this lan d use ethic:


Site features all fully functional Reedbed system treating greywater from the building and 200 homes in nearby Santa Elena Display of reedbed systems as well as other site th emes 3.4. Scheme B 3.4.1. Site Plan The elements of the site plan for Scheme B are as f ollows: Building located west of the parking lot Sustainable car parking, porous paving and rain gar dens An entry plaza moving into a main courtyard with th e caf, restrooms, offices, Monteverde business inf ormation and the start of the promenade A central promenade with secondary trails leading t o a chronological history of Monteverde Auditorium for 150 people that can be opened up to an outside courtyard for large scale gatherings View of the Gulfo de Nicoya established at the end of the promenade Trail system originating at the end of the promenad e and moves throughout the site Trail system leading to the following programmatic elements; reforestation, agroforestry, analog fores try and community gardens 3.4.2. Key Themes and Features The primary focus of Scheme B was to design a cente r that would provide all of the programmatic elemen ts outlined by the client and combine them with sustainable design con cepts. Moreover, we want to incorporate a chronolo gical path through the history and future of development in Monteverde to educate visitors to the Monteverde zone. Three sub categories of top priority were to (1) take advantage of existing vie ws; (2) demonstrate and apply sustainable technolog ies on the site; (3) provide educational facilities that disseminate inf ormation on the local culture and history, environm ent and geography,


economy, and sustainability. This translated into placing the building at in an area view is easily a ccessible to define the Monteverde Environmental Center. Several key features demonstrate and apply the focu s of Scheme B: Controlled and exhibited roof and site runoff for u se and education Multiple reedbed systems for the treatment and exhi bit of greywater from approximately 200 homes in Sa nta Elena Outdoor composting facility and composting toilets within the building Rain gardens within the parking lot for the control and treatment of water runoff The center will recycle all available materials use d on the site Shallow roof designs to facilitate the collection o f solar energy Natural Ventilation through clerestories, operable windows and louvered vents Site wide trail system Information space dedicated to the businesses of Mo nteverde for visitors to the area A rating system for the level of sustainability of hotels and other business to help facilitate a sust ainable mindset within the development of Monteverde 4. CONCLUSION Recent studies of the Monteverde Region have shown the need and desire for a multipurpose visitor cen ter. The project team underwent several precedent studies to gain an idea of how similar centers have been designed. The te am then took this information to help create several goals we felt all designs sh ould aim to achieve: (1) Creating a center that serves as the gateway to the region (2) Including a regional parking facility that w ould help reduce internal traffic within the Montev erde Zone (3) Project a vision of a sustainable Monteverde Zone (4) Disseminate information on local businesses (5) Educate residents and visitors on the regionÂ’s unique character, including the following component s: culture and history; economy; environment and geography


After completing a site analysis, a program was de vised. From here, two design schemes were created, each with their own site plan, focus theme, and key design features. I n common, however, was the aim to educate, demonstr ate and apply sustainability in a broad, multidimensional manner. 5. NEXT STEPS Several steps must be completed prior to implemen ting either design proposal, should one be chosen: (1) Discuss the proposal with landowners of the s ite to ensure cooperation (2) Analyze the impact of anticipated urban resid ential development directly north of the site (3) Undertake a detailed study of regional traffic conditions and parking required to create an effici ent, multifaceted system (4) Consult with nearby experts on the specific c apacity of sustainable features proposed in the two schemes


6. APPENDICES Educacin para un Futuro Sostenible... Education fo r a Sustainable Future From: Jason Niebler To: Sustainable Futures Re: Environmental Technology Visitor Center (ETVC ) suggestions nsome way to announce upcoming events for visitors a nd the community see the land use logos (reforestation, sustainable agriculture, land conservation, and grey water trea tment) for ideas about the ETVC; ask Nat rnnrtake advantage of environmental conditions treat turbine towers as emergent trees with vegetat ed under-story; integrate into natural environment use in more than one location to show their applica bility


nan example of a Campbell system is located on MVI p roperty; ask Nat or Stewart located near the green house for easy access, maint enance, and visibility will be used for research and long-term monitoring rnrrrnstationed in a multi-purpose parking area in order to limit construction parking slots and area should be large enough to ac commodate X number of vendors and consumers nmay also combine native medicinal and edible plants rnnrnnrused to irrigate the greenhouse, mini-farm, and p-p atch rnn ncovered to protect from heavy rains; open sides to allow plant / ambient temperature relations (as opp osed to a temperature regulated greenhouse); element of protection from s trong horizontal winds (eg. low living fence) germination of woody, herbaceous, and food crop pla nts opportunity for visitor and community participation !" for Los Llanos community local example of communal use of land for food prod uction and security use of bio-intensive methods within the context of household needs provides sustainable and productive land use for th ose who have little or no land


vegetative composting demonstrated in greenhouse, p-patch, mini-farm, and agroforestry systems solid waste composting used in non-edible native pl ant landscaping composting system should be large enough to accommo date X number of users or X area of agricultural pr oduction #"nnr"$rdemonstrate raised bed and terraced agriculture (gi ven the potential for poor soil quality and likelih ood of steep topography) area allotted to sustain a family of four (check th e Jim Jeavons book; I believe the area is 4000 ft2) %r$rnrnlocally practiced and experimental / alternative sh ade tree (total of 4 ha) and grazing (total of 6 ha ) systems %$rnrstratification of forest growth from emergent trees to root crop production maximum integration of environment and biodiversity into a polycultural production system rnrnrwoody and herbaceous plants grown in green house weekly volunteer plantings for visitors, community members, and / or children rncourse scale map to display a trail network that co nnects the Bellbird Conservation Center, the ETVC ( passing through or alongside the various land uses, technologies, and gardens) Santa Elena, Monteverde, and the Finca Bue n Amigos and / or Amapala (ask Nat about general route and Juan about easements and specifics of the Bellbird Conservati on Center trail routes) trail system would be part of a larger network of h iking right-of-ways that cover a large swath along the altitudinal gradient that extends to the Pacific coast signage and standards for the trail


&n land uses demonstrate both sustainable agriculture and an agrarian microcosm of the monteverde area various land uses could be observed from the road a nd extend into the property to attract interest development of land uses may be implemented in phas e one to allow for growth of systems intention is to create eco-tones of land use that h ave soft edge transitions by decreasing intensity o f use as one moves toward forest ecosystems


Garrett Feddersen 7/10/2008 Draft-Page 20 Constructed Wetlands for the Treatment of Greywater in Santa Elena Introduction The treatment of greywater is a very large problem in the Monteverde region. Currently, greywater is being piped out into streets, streams and rivers. This posses a serious problem with the quality of drinking water further down the mountain. One of the purposed ways to treat the gray water is using cons tructed wetlands. Constructed Wetlands to Treat Greywater Low Startup/Initial Cost Natural form of water treatment Low environmental impact Low maintenance Can clean and filter the water so it can be used fo r irrigation Constructed wetlands are fairly easy to build. Fir st, excavate a depression .5 meters deep. The area of the depression is dependent upon the number of people and therefore the amount of greywater the reedbed will be handling. Next, p ut a layer of geotextile in the excavated area. A layer of plastic goes over that, and then another layer of geotextile covers the pl astic. This prevents the rocks or shredded plastic bottles from puncturing the plasti c and the gray water from seeping into the ground o r leeching into the groundwater. Put the bed medium (gravel, sand, shredded plastic, etc.) on top of the textile, filling the hole comp letely. Finally, the plants are then planted every 30 to 40 cm. A grease trap is also n eeded to filter the water before it goes into the r eed bed to ensure no rice, beans, or other small particles enter the reedbed.2 Project Specifications The purposed plans for the Visitors Center in the L os Llanos area include the plans for a large constr ucted wetland that would treat part of the greywater for the town of Santa E lena, as marked on the map. This is about one thir d of the town, an area that would naturally flow to the Los Llanos site using gravity No greywater would have to be pumped to the trea tment site. This part of Santa Elena is also the area with the most predicted futu re growth. 2 Sustainable Futures 2002. Feasibility Study of Sustainable Sanitation Options for Santa Elena in the zone of Monteverde. Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica, 2002


Included are the calculations for several different reedbeds. The first two calculations are for the area needed for the reedbeds to effectively treat the greywater for the current buildings in the area of Santa Elena we chose. The second two are for the area needed to effectively treat the projected number of buildi ngs in the year 2020. Besides the population growth, bed medium will also be taken into account. For one calculation, crush ed rock will be the medium. The other calculation will be for using sh redded plastic bottles, which drastically reduce th e required area of the constructed wetlands. Calculations The formula used in calculating the required reedbe d area is as follows3: A = (Q ave )(t) (n)(dw) A = Area required for reedbed to effectively treat greywater (square meters) Qave = Average daily input (cubic meters) T = Retention time (days) N = effective porosity of bed medium (what percent of the volume is left for the water after gravel or plastic has been put in) dw =Depth of bed (meters) Current 2003 There are currently 200 buildings in the area of Sa nta Elena we selected. Each building uses about .8 1 cubic meters of potable water per day. 60 % of that ends up as greywater. .81 m3 x 200 houses = 162 m3 162 m3 x .60 = 97 m3/day = Qave 3Crites, Ron, and Tchobanoglous, George. Small and Decentralized Wastewater Management Syste ms. New York: WCB/McGrawHill, 1998. (p. 563 to 608)


Gravel To treat the current population in Santa Elena as m arked on map Using crushed rock as the medium for the reedbed (p orosity or n = .4) The greywater is held for 2.5 days (t), in order to effectively treat the greywater The reedbed is .5 meters deep (dw), this is the most effective depth for the plants to treat the water A = (Q ave )(t) (n)(dw) A = (97)(2.5) (.4)(.5) A = 1215 m2 If gravel or crushed rock is used as the bed mediu m, the reedbed is .5 meters deep, and the greywater is held for 2.5 days, then 1215 m2 of land will be required to treat the current grey water output of Santa Elena for the area we selecte d. Shredded Plastic To treat the current population in Santa Elena as m arked on map Using shredded plastic bottles as the medium for th e reedbed (porosity or n = .75) The greywater is held for 2.5 days (t) The reedbed is .5 meters deep (dw) A = (Q ave )(t) (n)(dw) A = (97)(2.5) (.75)(.5) A = 650 m2


If shredded plastic is used as the bed medium, the reedbed is .5 meters deep, and the greywater is hel d for 2.5 days, then 650 m2 of land will be required to treat the current grey water output of Santa Elena for the area we selecte d. Future 2020 In the year 2020, it is predicted that there will b e approximately 350 buildings in the area of Santa Elena we selected.4 Each building uses about .81 cubic meters of potable wat er per day. 60 % of that ends up as greywater. .81 m3 x 350 houses = 284 m3 284 m3 x .60 = 170 m3/day = Qave Gravel To treat the predicted population for Santa Elena i n the year 2003 for the area marked on map Using crushed rock as the medium for the reedbed (p orosity or n = .4) The greywater is held for 2.5 days (t), in order to effectively treat the greywater The reedbed is .5 meters deep (dw), this is the most effective depth for the plants to treat the water A = (Q ave )(t) (n)(dw) A = (170)(2.5) (.4)(.5) A = 2125 m2 If gravel or crushed rock is used as the bed medium the reedbed is .5 meters deep, and the greywater is held for 2.5 days, then 2125 m2 of land will be required to treat the greywater ou tput of Santa Elena for the area we selected in the year 2020. 4 Sustainable Futures 2002. Monteverde Report Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica, 2002.


Shredded Plastic To treat the predicted population for Santa Elena i n the year 2003 for the area marked on map Using shredded plastic bottles as the medium for th e reedbed (porosity or n = .75) The greywater is held for 2.5 days (t) The reedbed is .5 meters deep (dw) A = (Q ave )(t) (n)(dw) A = (170)(2.5) (.75)(.5) A = 1133 m2 If shredded plastic is used as the bed medium, the reedbed is .5 meters deep, and the greywater is hel d for 2.5 days, then 1133 m2 of land will be required to treat the greywater ou tput of Santa Elena for the area we selected in the year 2020. Removal of Treated Greywater After the greywater has been cleaned by the reedbe d, where is it going to go? 170 cubic meters of wa ter cannot just be dumped out; it would have serious ecological reperc ussions. One possible solution would be pipe the w ater to the Quebrada Sucia, a small river to the east of the site. However, whil e this is the closest and easiest place to go with the water, the pipe would either have to go through a primary forest area or go up over t he ridge to get to the river. The water could also be piped to the Quebrada Rodriguez, a river on the far west side of the site Unfortunately, this river is a very long distanc e from the reedbed site.5 Another possibility would be to release the filtered water into the environment at multiple points. The water is safe for the ecosystem, containing nutrients the plants need. If it was pi ped out to different parts of the forest, this woul d be a convenient and easy way to eliminate the excess water. The last outlet possib ility discussed was the creation of a small pond, w ith native species of fish introduced into it to control the mosquito populati on.6 5 Stewart Dallas provided information on the resourc es available in the region of Monteverde. 6 Foster, Vivian. Lower Costs with Higher Benefits: Water and Sewera ge Services for Low Income Households. Swedish International Development Agency, 2001


Conclusion When deciding what option would be best for the Mo nteverde Region Visitors Center, many factors must be taken into account. The available area at the site is limited especially with key conservation areas on the sit e. The impact the reedbed would have on the surrounding environment must be taken i nto account. Also, the geographic and climatic var iables must be considered. The land has varied topography which the constructe d wetland must be designed around. With those limitations in mind, the best option fo r waste water treatment would be the use of shredde d plastic bottles to form the medium of the reedbed. This greatly reduces th e required area, and is a very sustainable solution The region of Monteverde also has a problem with an over abundance of plastic bot tles, more than the region has capacity to recycle. Propositions for the Monteverde Region Visitor Cent er Reedbed that would treat the area of Santa Elena as marked on map The reedbed would be large enough to handle the was te water requirements in the year 2020 A bed medium composed of shredded plastic Bed would be .5 meters deep, and the waste water he ld for 2.5 days Required area would 1133 m2 However, if need be, a smaller reedbed can be built and as long as area is left for growth, the reedb ed can be increased at a future date.


7. REFERENCES 7.1. Precedent studies reference list Knapp St. Lab/Environmental Visitor Center: • • University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: • • Zion National Park: • performance / zion • what/b 5 za zion UNEP-IETC Environmental Technology Centre: • • ackg.htm • eats.htm


7.2. Additional resources utilized Nadkarni, N. M., N. T. Wheelwright, Eds. 2000. Monteverde: Ecology and Conservation of a Tropical Forest. NY: Oxford University Press. Pp. 41-47.


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Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.