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Gulf State Park Interpretive Center Earns Prestigious Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute

LEMOINE receives the International Living Future Institute's Petal Certification for the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Alabama Gulf State Park Interpretive Center Petal Certification

The Gulf State Park Interpretive Center is proud to announce that it has been awarded the Petal Certification by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). LEMOINE completed the construction of the Center in 2018 for the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Birmingham, Alabama-based, Architecture Works, was the lead Architect. Skanska | Volkert provided Program Management Services. This significant achievement highlights the Interpretive Center’s commitment to sustainability, innovation, and environmental stewardship.

The Petal Certification, part of the Living Building Challenge, is a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a building’s performance across several categories, including Place, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity, and Beauty. By meeting the stringent criteria set forth by ILFI, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center has demonstrated exceptional leadership in creating a regenerative and environmentally conscious facility. 

Located on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center serves as a gateway to the rich natural and cultural heritage of the area. The Interpretive Center’s design, guided by principles of sustainable architecture, seamlessly integrates with the surrounding environment, minimizing its ecological footprint while maximizing its educational and recreational opportunities for visitors.

To achieve the Petal Certification, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center implemented a range of sustainable features and strategies. Notable highlights include:


Habitat Exchange: Restoring a healthy interrelationship with nature. The Alabama Department of conservation and Natural Resources has acquired and protected far more land than is required by this imperative. 


Net Positive Water + Waste: Innovative water management techniques, such as rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, and on-site sanitary waste processing eliminate the need for external water sources. There is no connection to the city water supply or sewer system.


Net Positive Energy: The Interpretive Center utilizes advanced renewable energy systems, including solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling, to achieve a net-zero energy footprint. We were able to achieve 105% annual positive energy generation.


Locally sourced and non-toxic materials: The construction process prioritized materials with low environmental impact, emphasizing locally sourced and recycled materials, as well as products free from harmful chemicals. All wood was salvaged or FSC certified and sourced locally. This project also achieved a 96.75% recycled waste percentage.


Beauty + Spirit: Beauty means the Interpretive Center is built with respect for and as part of the dune landscape. On the IC’s porch, you’re never far from a gorgeous view or an inspiring discovery. The interior spaces of the Interpretive Center are thoughtfully designed to enhance occupants’ connection with nature, promoting well-being and fostering a sense of harmony.


Universal Access to Nature + Place: The Interpretive Center ensures that individuals of all abilities can fully engage with its exhibits and facilities, promoting inclusivity and equal access to environmental education. 

The Interpretive Center not only exists within the delicate dune system but also strengthens it.

The Petal Certification serves as a testament to the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center’s dedication to sustainability and its mission to inspire visitors to become responsible stewards of our natural resources. By exceeding industry standards, the Interpretive Center sets a remarkable example for future architectural and environmental endeavors, both locally and globally.

The Gulf State Park Interpretive Center’s Petal Certification showcases the power of sustainable design and the positive impact it can have on the environment and society. Through its commitment to a regenerative approach, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center is reshaping the landscape of eco-conscious architecture and setting a new standard for excellence in environmental stewardship.

"We are thrilled to receive the prestigious Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute. This achievement would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of the Design Team, Trade Partners, and the unwavering support of the Gulf State Park family. We hope that this recognition inspires others to embrace sustainability and work towards creating a better future for our planet."

Darren S., Lead Estimator at LEMOINE
Darren S. Lead Estimator
Alabama Gulf State Park Learning Campus logo

About Gulf State Park Interpretive Center:

The Interpretive Center is a key component of Gulf State Park. With its educational purpose, high visibility resulting from its location next to Perdido Highway, and public availability, this building will become the defining element of Gulf State Park for many visitors. The goal of the site is to highlight the beauty and bountiful nature of Gulf State Park including the beaches, oceans, forests, swamps, lakes, and nearby communities. Visitors will be introduced to sustainable methods of enjoying these natural resources through engaging, experiential programs and exhibits that take advantage of the building’s connection to the outdoors.

International Living Future Institute Logo

About the International Living Future Institute: 

Premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world.

The Living Building Challenge’s ambitious guidelines point the way to a world that is healthy and happy through better buildings.

By combining new technologies with timeless know-how, LBC makes it possible to create buildings—like the Interpretive Center (IC)—that give more than they take. 

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