Prairie Oaks Metro Parks
West Jefferson, OH
Located on the western edge of the Columbus Metro Park District, Prairie Oaks Metro Parks is a 400-acre facility that was in need of a new shelter house and restroom. Perched on the edge of a natural prairie, the picnic shelter and restroom facility complement the historical theme of prairie life. Further, the materials used are indicative of the late 1800s or early 1900s time period. The roof structure is tongue and groove timber deck on bolted and plated fabricated wood trusses. This assembly bears on large wood beams, which bear on round bark covered wood columns. The structure shelters 60 people in a picnic setting. The facility also features a green waste management system in the restroom. Designed with a natural composting system, effluent is discharged environmentally into the local wetland system. This system eliminated the need for an extensive underground piping run to the local sanitary system. Other green features include waterless urinals and a hand sanitizing station instead of sinks. This project received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) –Columbus Chapter 2006 Sustainable Design Award for its use of LEED principles. Although this project is small in scale, it is an excellent example of how green design elements can be incorporated into a project of any size.