Presidential libraries are unique facilities – equal parts public museum, research archive, and meeting space.
Despite their historical significance, several libraries are concerned about their future impact on the environment. Such is the case for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which recently earned LEED Platinum certification for New Construction.
The 226,565-square-foot building is located on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. A number of sustainable features are incorporated into the design:
- 54 solar heating panels supply 100% of the building’s domestic hot water, including storage capacity of 1,800 gallons.
- 900 trees provide shade and wind breaks throughout the 25-acre site.
- 1,900 native plants create water-efficient landscaping.
- A 1,550-square-foot green roof adds thermal insulation.
- A 260,000-gallon cistern provides 50% of irrigation demands.
- 164kW of renewable energy are generated from a 19,000-square-feet solar array.
The project also earned points for regionally sourced materials by using red brick, limestone, and wood millwork from the Lone Star State.
Of the 13 presidential libraries in the nation, only two have earned a green building certification.
The William J. Clinton Presidential Center initially earned LEED Silver for New Construction and was later upgraded to Platinum for EBOM. It also won two Green Globes awards through the Green Building Initiative.
The George W. Bush library is home to a permanent exhibit and over 43,000 artifacts, as well as temporary exhibit space, research room for scholars, and classrooms for school groups. The museum also includes re-creations of the Oval Office and the Situation Room.