Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh became one of the largest Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified museums in the country in 2006, on the heels of a major expansion which included the renovation of the adjacent former Buhl Planetarium. The project’s design and construction practices used sustainable principles such as water conservation, energy management, waste management, reusing resources emphasizing the use of recycled materials and improving indoor air quality. A significant percentage of the wood used was from sustainable forests, over 50% of all materials were locally manufactured and/or harvested, and the contractors recycled 50-75% of building materials. Reusable building systems such as doors, handrails, light fixtures, and marble panels were salvaged and made available for resale to the general public through a unique partnership with Construction Junction.
Green features of the Museum include:
- 100% renewable energy for electricity
- Demonstration photo voltaic (solar energy) system that powers the balloon lighting of the Big Red Room Café
- A 9’ x 12’ vegetated roof
- Composting system in the Big Red Room Café
- Use of adhesives, sealants, paints, carpets and composite wood that are certified formaldehyde free and produce near zero-level off gassing
- Dual flush toilets, low flow urinals and aerators at all faucets
- Proximity to public transportation
- Provisions for bicycle parking for employees and visitors
For more information about sustainability at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, please contact Chris Siefert, Deputy Director, at (412) 322-5058 ext. 227, firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEED Building Features and Construction Cost Analysis
by Mascaro Construction Company and Perkins Eastman Architects PC
Download case study of Children's Museum Pittsburgh expansion project and the initial construction cost premium for LEED certification below.
This outdoor exhibit adjacent to the Museum's main entrance was built using reclaimed chimney liners and wood, and includes a rain barrel system and demonstration compost bin. Learn about the programs and other features of the Garden here and on The Garden blog.
The Permaculture Garden
This garden located outside the Café doors was designed to mimic natural systems in order to maximize sustainability and productivity and minimize upkeep. It features blueberry, elderberry and currant bushes, pawpaw trees and a variety of native flowers and medicinal and edible herbs. Learn more through Pittsburgh Permaculture.
The Permaculture Garden is funded by the Alcoa Foundation.
- Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFUTURE) Platinum Green Power Award, 2008, for purchasing 100% electricity from renewable energy sources, including wind and hydro power.
- Western PA Environmental Award, 2008, for educational and institutional efforts to promote green practices and messages.
- Green Building Alliance Shades of Green Leadership, 2006, awarded to Children’s Museum Executive Director Jane Werner as a leader who helped transform the Pittsburgh region into a more sustainable place to live and work.