Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
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Expanded museum sets standard for green building in Anchorage

The Anchorage Museum is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for its 80,000-square-foot expansion. The LEED Green Building Rating System promotes sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The certification would make the Anchorage Museum the municipality’s first LEED-certified building.

This achievement will be particularly significant in a city that just started offering curbside recycling in fall 2008. A LEED certification would be a major milestone in the city’s initiative, started by former Mayor Mark Begich in 2005, to become greener.

Environmentally friendly elements of the museum expansion:

  • Minimizes the building footprint by creating four levels plus a basement, and maximizes the planted landscape and green space
  • Uses recycled content building materials whenever possible

  • Uses locally produced materials whenever possible, including concrete aggregate and landscape supplies

  • Provides an air quality management plan during and after construction to flush out contaminants before occupancy

  • Allows employees to control their work area light levels, resulting in energy cost savings and higher productivity

  • Offers increased energy performance resulting from extensive testing of the building “skin” and HVAC systems

  • Encourages use of alternative transportation, providing easy access for pedestrians and public transportation users, convenient bike racks, and staff showers and changing rooms

  • Aims for a 20 percent reduction in water use through the use of low-flow or automatic plumbing fixtures

  • Promotes recycling by providing local and central collection areas

LEED certification won't be determined until construction is complete in summer 2010.
“It is our hope that by securing LEED certification, the museum will be an example of sustainability for future public building projects and other museums throughout the state,” said Jim Pepper Henry, Anchorage Museum director and CEO.