My husband and I have a lot in common, but typically not political views/allegiances. He served a stint as an advance team member for George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential campaign and consequently was invited to, and attended, yesterday’s dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at SMU. Political views aside, it must have been pretty cool to be at an event with all five living presidents.
Ok- enough with the personal stuff and on to the green stuff. The architecture of the library, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, has received some mixed design critiques. The $250-million, 226,000 SF complex which houses a library, museum, auditorium and policy institute is impressive in size but presents a stripped down neo-classical aesthetic. Whether you care for the design or not, it is worth noting that the building did earn LEED Platinum certification earlier this month. Of note, the building has solar hot water heaters that provide 100% of their hot water, PV panels that provide 10% of the building’s energy use and rainwater harvesting that meets 50% of the landscape’s irrigation needs. Additionally, natural habitat was restored on over 70% of the project’s site using a diverse mixture of native grasses.
It certainly speaks to the relevancy of sustainable design in today’s culture and the prominence of the LEED Rating System that both President Clinton’s and President Bush’s libraries pursued and achieved LEED Platinum. I only wish that President Clinton hadn’t referred to it as “LEEDs” in his dedication speech yesterday. Oh well.