Water+Life Museums, Hemet, California, USAWhat is the LEED Certification?
The Water + Life Museums complex is the world's first LEED Platinum certified museum, awarded in April 2008. The complex was constructed by Michael Lehrer Architects. The origins of the complex is closely connected with the creation of the famous Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir, completed in 1999. During the process of digging, some remarkable fossils were found, so it was necessary to establish a museum to display these artifacts. The huge cultural complex houses two museums, The Western Center for Archaelogy and Paleontology and the Center for Water Education. The former operates for displaying the ancient artifacts found during the archealogical researches. The latter informs the visitors of the role of water in Southern California and in the world. The construction was completed in November 2006. Besides exhibition halls, the building includes also laboratories, offices, a gift shop, a cafe, etc.
The $40 M building boasts of a number of green elements and nuances, especially regarding saving of energy and water consumption. Because of desert climate of Southern California (freezing winters and extremely hot summers), water conservation is of utmost importance. There are dual-flush toilets that don't use water, as well as low-flow faucets in the kitchens which help to save water. The roof of 6,500-square-meter complex is covered with a 540 watt, 3000 panel solar array which produces approximately 50 percent of the complex's electricity. Windows of the building emit natural light to the greatest extent, thus allowing to save power.
By Astghik Atabekyan, www.building.am