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Department of the Interior

Department of the Interior
Building Location 230 Collins Road
Boise, Idaho
Downtown Neighborhood
Ada County
Building Status Public
Year Built
Architectural Style Post Modern
Architect
Type
Material

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The Department of the Interiors is one of the USGS buildings located in Idaho. It had its name changed to the F.H. Newell building as he was an important figure in creating and regulating dams. Inside is the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey, its purpose is for regulating and managing anything water related in Idaho. It is located at 230 Collins Road in downtown Boise by the Fort Boise area. This building was finished in August of 2003 and was relatively inexpensive, costing a cool 4 million dollars. It was built on its 11 and a half acre plot by the Hummel Architects. There are many aesthetic and functional features. The outside walls are purely decorative. There are slight features like the wave of the overhanging roof that add to its character and modern look. On the outside it has a modern look with vertical and horizontal cedar siding and cement accents. It was built using scrap metals so that the cost of building supplies and the fuels burned to make the metal was reduced the first step of building it environmentally friendly. It was built to look like it blended into the foothills, so that it would not be an eye sore to its neighbors. It was mostly constructed from cement and metal and comprises features that definitely make it unique. The inside is quite different; the lobby is very open and can be seen by the second floor, while the sides are composed of basic office space. To incorporate the theme of water, the inside of this building is designed to imitate the inside of a dam. The main walls are tall cement slabs that help insulate the building, along with the cement floors, by retaining heat. This building is powered almost entirely by geothermal energy which reduces energy costs and the use of fossil fuels. Following its job to preserve the water systems, it is almost entirely environmentally friendly. The roof is made from scrap metal and the furniture inside is made from completely recyclable materials. The bamboo and cork flooring is recycled and reusable. The building was able to get a hold of extremely environmentally friendly light bulbs that provide enough light besides the plenty of natural lighting from outside. Windows were strategically placed around the building so that during all hours of the day natural light floods the rooms so that less power is being used. The building even incorporated shredded jeans for insulation.The roof is separated into three sections, each able to collect water. The side sections are tilted allowing water to easily flow off the roofs and into the plants below. The center roof was designed to gather the rainwater into the center section that is pitched in the middle to allow a 180-foot trough to carry the water away. It flows out into a beautiful waterfall, which turns into a holding pond. The property has many holding ponds to collect any extra and reusable water. On other parts of the roof there are chains that direct some of the water into the gardens that line the sides of the building.

Building submitted by Kelsey Campbell and Alyssa Velicky

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