The Kronotsky Nature Reserve, on its own initiative, submitted for evaluation the design documentation of the visitors cente which in the near future will be built on the “Ozerny” cordon of the South Kamchatka Nature Reserve. It is a large up-to-date year-round visitors center with many functional areas, such as an exhibition space, an area for training events, an economic block and many others.
GREEN ZOOM is a Russian certification system that determines the compliance of real estate objects with sustainable development goals. Infrastructure facilities evaluation takes place in two stages: audit of project documentation and assessment of the finished facility.
Specialists of the Scientific Research Institute for Sustainable Development in Construction (ANO NIIURS) will analyze the design documentation of the visitors center by dozens of criteria, including energy and water efficiency, impact on biodiversity and the surrounding landscape, garbage collection and disposal, environmental friendliness of building materials and others.
“At the moment, the certification process is going well, the Kronotsky Reserve may probably deserve at least a bronze certificate. Next, the reserve will have to collect evidence during construction and evaluate the finished object," said Vera Burtseva, project consultant, GREEN ZOOM expert. ”This is Russia's first case of certifying an infrastructure facility in a natural reserve."
The infrastructure in the protected areas is necessary for carrying out conservation measures, scientific research, eco-tourism and eco-education. High requirements are imposed on infrastructure facilities in natural reserves in order not to disrupt the course of natural processes, organically fit buildings into the surrounding landscape, and ensure the environmental friendliness of buildings with a lot of restrictions. For example, capital construction facilities cannot be erected on the territory of the reserve, sewage runoff is carried out, and the use of aggressive chemicals is prohibited.
“Certification according to GREEN ZOOM standards serves us primarily as a guide for what else we may improve, refine, or implement," said Roman Korchigin, Deputy Director for Science and Environmental Tourism. – And it is also an additional guarantee that the visitors center will be safe for wildlife and comfortable for employees and visitors. And, of course, the GREEN ZOOM certificate gives us an advantage in working with investors and partners who are looking for platforms for environmental and social responsibility implementation.”