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Front Page » Top Stories » Science Museum Has Plans To Go Green At Museum Park

Science Museum Has Plans To Go Green At Museum Park

Written by on May 10, 2007

By Risa Polansky
Building green will be worth the green, Miami Science Museum President and CEO Gillian Thomas says.

Museum officials plan to build their new 200,000-square-foot, $275 million facility to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, which wouldn’t drastically drive up costs, she said, "and you can recoup it within five to 10 years because of the reduced energy costs."

Actual construction should cost about $85 million, she said

A selection committee last week named Grimshaw Architects as its top choice to design the new facility at the planned Museum Park at Bicentennial Park. The committee ranked Rodriguez and Quiroga first of those who bid for the executive architect contract.

Should all go well as negotiations begin, the museum is to sign contracts with the firms by June, Ms. Thomas said, giving them the go-ahead to begin designing the green building.

"They want the building to be part of the exhibit, and certainly the green factor is an important one," said Raul Rodriguez of Rodriguez and Quiroga. "There was a time when people said they couldn’t afford green design. I think the time has come when you can’t afford not to."

The US Green Building Council has conducted "studies that show you can do LEED at the certified or silver level for not one penny more than conventional construction," Taryn Holowka, council communications manager, said in an e-mail. "Additional costs you do run into will be recouped within the first one to two years of the building’s lifecycle through savings from lower utility bills, lower water bills and an increase in productivity of employees and reduced absenteeism and turnover, all attributable to the better indoor environmental quality of LEED buildings."

It is too early to decide what aspects of the museum’s design will be green and how much it will cost to implement them, Mr. Rodriguez said.

The architects, museum and museum-contracted sustainability consultant, he said, "need to meet and explore what are the cost implications, what might be the best application of green design."

The museum is to open on its four-acre bayside site in 2011. Advertisement