PITTSBURGH — Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh announced that MuseumLab® has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status. LEED, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is a widely recognized green building rating system. Through design, construction, and operations practices that improve environmental and human health, LEED-certiﬁed buildings are helping to make the world more sustainable.
MuseumLab, created by and located adjacent to Children’s Museum in the historic 1890 Carnegie Library, achieved LEED Gold certiﬁcation for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy eﬃciency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Green buildings allow companies to operate more sustainably and give the people inside them a healthier, more comfortable space to work.
“Our green building efforts are an important part of the environment we create for our visitors as well as our community,” said Jane Werner, executive director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. “Being LEED Gold-certified confirms that we have done everything possible to nurture learning and inspire our guests in a facility that is highly sustainable. As we celebrate this achievement, we salute the tireless efforts of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s board of directors, our staff, and the construction partners who helped make this possible.”
The project was supported by:
• Design architect: Koning Eizenberg Arcitecture: Julie Eizenberg and John Delaney;
• Architect of record: Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel – Tony Pitassi and Amy Ahn;
• Construction manager: Mascaro Construction – Jon Machen and Christi Saunders;
• Green building alliance: Jenna Cramer, Dario Giandomenico;
• Sustainability consultant branch pattern: Pete Jefferson, Adam Bertonaschi, Stuart Shell, and Carrie Nakamoto; and
• Mechanical/Electrical Engineer: Iams Consulting – Jonathan Iams.
“The MuseumLab project embodies so many principles of sustainability, but it is a particularly outstanding example of how to achieve both occupant health and energy performance together,” said Pete Jefferson, principal at BranchPattern. “These goals were established by the Children’s Museum early in the MuseumLab project and were then instrumental in guiding the project team throughout design and construction.
“It is appropriate then that this project represents one of the first buildings in Pittsburgh certified under LEED Version 4, going far beyond the minimums to achieve a Gold level certification,” continued Jefferson. “On top of that, the Children’s Museum remained engaged during operations to manage the facility in such a way that they exceeded the energy performance goals of the Pittsburgh 2030 District. MuseumLab is the first existing building to accomplish these goals in Pittsburgh and by doing so inside a 130-year-old library, they clearly have raised the bar for how we can imagine using Pittsburgh’s existing building stock to benefit future generations.”
The construction and renovation work was a key part of achieving the certification,” said Christi Lynn Saunders, project manager, Mascaro.
“The vision for this project was unique, and Mascaro was very fortunate that we were chosen to be part of team that brought that vision to fruition,” said Saunders. “We were challenged with different methods of construction such as the thermal plaster installation that provided the necessary insulation and preserved the historic interior. In lieu of demolishing uneven layers of deteriorated plaster, the team rehabilitated it by scraping and patching in a way that was both sustainable and cost-effective. Mascaro congratulates the Children’s Museum on its vision for this spectacular building. It has become a beacon for sustainability, historic preservation, and, most importantly, the future for our region’s children.”
MuseumLab is proud to join Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, which had previously be given a LEED Silver recognition in 2006.
“The work of innovative building projects like MuseumLab is a fundamental driving force in transforming the way our buildings are built, designed and operated,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Buildings that achieve LEED certiﬁcation are lowering carbon emissions, reducing operating costs, and conserving resources while prioritizing sustainable practices and human health. Because of MuseumLab, we are increasing the number of green buildings and getting closer to USGBC’s goal to outpace conventional buildings while being environmentally and socially responsible and improving quality of life for generations to come.”
Certiﬁcation is proof that buildings are going above and beyond to ensure the space is constructed and operated to the highest level of sustainability. More than 49,300 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 2.6 million square feet of construction space certified every day in all 50 states and more than 177 countries and territories.
In addition to the LEED Gold certification, MuseumLab was recently honored for excellence in preservation, winning the 2020 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award on a Construction Project – Rehabilitation. This recognition is for work dedicated to the protection of historically and architecturally significant places.
Beyond these two prestigious awards, MuseumLab has garnered national attention and accolades during its first year of operation, including:
• Recognition as the first building in the U.S. to achieve a Universal Design certificate from the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA) at the University of Buffalo for its design that is welcoming to all;
• It was named a finalist in a competition hosted by South by Southwest, focused on designing for learning environments;
• The facility received the Vanguard Award by the Green Building Alliance; and
• It received an award of special achievement from PA Museums.
For more information, visit www.museumlab.org.