The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Rating System has been around for more than a decade and so it is hard to imagine that there are still LEED firsts to achieve. However, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia just achieved another LEED first: the first major art and education facility in the United States to earn LEED Platinum certification.


Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is pleased with the Platinum certification rating, “The Barnes Foundation’s new building is a wonderful addition to Philadelphia’s iconic Parkway, not only for the benefits it brings to Philadelphia and the larger community, but for its attention to environmental design standards,” said Nutter. “It’s a project that shows that Philadelphia is a city that cares deeply about the arts and sustainability.” Source: Barnes Foundation


Environmentally friendly features at the Philadelphia campus include:


  • A complex daylighting system that ensures the art installations are lighted properly
  • A green roof
  • Material selection included products made from rapidly renewable, recycled or local sources
  • Flooring reclaimed from the boardwalk at Coney Island
  • Water conservation features that will reduce potable water use by 44 percent
  • Drought-tolerant plants

The two-story 93,000 square-foot building is located on a 4.5-acre campus equipped with a 5,000 square-foot special exhibition gallery, two in-gallery classrooms, a 150-seat auditorium, painting conservation facilities and a 50-seat café.

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