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Posts Tagged: woodpeckers

Woodpecker-ready siding to cover new conference center

Many people consider acorn woodpeckers' incessant rapping and acorn storage to be a nuisance. But the UC officials who are developing a new conference center at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center in Mendocino County view the woodpeckers' activities as just another part of the natural system to incorporate into their plans.

The University of California will break ground on the new 5,000-square-foot building this fall. In addition to providing meeting facilities for 200 and display space for a collection of natural and Native American museum pieces, the building itself will be a model of integrated green design, according to center director Bob Timm.

"This won't be a steel box with an air conditioner on the roof," Timm said. "We want a building that fits in the natural landscape, that is in itself teachable. We want a building people will talk about when they come to meetings here."

The architects' inspiration in designing the new conference center was old barns on the research center property that were built when it was still a commercial sheep ranch more than 60 years ago. The barns are riddled with woodpecker holes that the birds use over and over again.

To allow woodpeckers access to the new conference center without compromising the long-term integrity of the building, the facility will be protected with galvanized wire mesh then covered with cedar siding harvested from UC's own Blodgett Forest near Georgetown in the Sierra Nevada.

"This is just one of the ways we will be integrating the building into our rural landscape and making it look like Hopland," Timm said.


Blodgett Forest manager Rob York with cedar siding for the new conference center.

Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM

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