The Barnes Foundation’s Philadelphia Campus Awarded the Highest Level of Environmental Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council

The Barnes Foundation’s Philadelphia Campus Awarded the Highest Level of Environmental Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council


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The Barnes is the first institution of its kind to receive this award USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi to Honor the Barnes with its LEED

Platinum Award on September 27th at 2pm at the Barnes on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia

September 27, 2012, Philadelphia
—The Barnes Foundation’s new building will be the first major art and education institution in the country to achieve the highest level of environmental certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The building will be certified as Platinum under the USGBC’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system at a press event on September 27th, 2012, at 2pm at the Barnes Foundation. The award will be given by USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi.  

“The USGBC Green Building Council is excited to award the Barnes its LEED Platinum certification because we believe that inspired, beautiful design can also perform to high environmental standards, and this building proves it,” said Fedrizzi. “From diverting 95% of construction waste from landfills as it redeveloped this brownfield site to a building with anticipated energy savings of 44% over a traditionally designed equivalent, it’s a marquee project not only for Philadelphia but the country.”

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter agrees. “The Barnes Foundation’s new building is a wonderful addition to Philadelphia’s iconic Parkway, not only for the benefits it brings to Philadelphia and the larger community, but for its attention to environmental design standards,” said Nutter. It’s a project that shows that Philadelphia is a city that cares deeply about the arts and sustainability.”

“I am thrilled to accept the LEED Platinum award on behalf of the Barnes and in recognition of the Barnes Board and staff’s commitment to build a beautiful, functional and sustainable home for the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia,” said Derek Gillman, Executive Director and President of the Barnes Foundation. “Special thanks and deep gratitude goes to Tod Williams and Bilie Tsien and the whole design team who worked so diligently and creatively to achieve this goal. The most apparent example of this is the lighting of the art collection at the Barnes, which has been greatly improved. The immensely sophisticated filtering of natural light throughout the building and galleries is not only stunning, it also reduces electrical usage.” Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects designed the new campus, collaborating with Landscape Architects OLIN on the 4.5 acre site design and plantings, Fisher Marantz Stone on the lighting design, and Associate Architects Ballinger on the project’s LEED effort. 

In addition to site selection that focused on redevelopment and accessibility, other green project elements include significant energy use reduction, a vegetated roof, materials selection of rapidly renewable, local, and recycled contentincluding floors reclaimed from Coney Island’s boardwalkand water efficiency measures both inside and outside the building. A design that will reduce potable water consumption by 44%, will work in concert with plants in the beautiful gardens surrounding the building which were chosen in part for their hardiness and drought-tolerance.  

Janet Milkman, Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, the USGBC’s local chapter, believes that buildings like the Barnes Foundation’s can make a difference in how people perceive an urban environment.  “Visitors from around the world will get to experience a legendary art collection in a unique setting.  The architect’s use of natural light, careful materials selection and the quality of air are exactly the kinds of green building practices that we advocate for at DVGBC, and in this case they also greatly enhance the experience of the art.  The mission of our organization is to inspire, connect, and educate people around green building practices, and the Barnes Foundation’s building hits the mark on all three of those goals.”

PECO to award Barnes Foundation for energy efficient building design
In addition to the LEED award, the Barnes Foundation will receive a significant rebate from PECO as part of PECO Smart Construction Incentives a program that rewards commercial and industrial customers (including businesses, government institutions and non-profits) with rebates for the use of energy efficient building products. The program encourages building designers, developers, engineers and architects to incorporate energy-efficient measures into their designs. The result is a building that surpasses building standards, uses less energy, saves money, and helps protect the environment.

About the Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to "promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture." The Barnes holds one of the finest collections of post-impressionist and early modern paintings, with extensive holdings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Giorgio de Chirico, as well as American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin, and Maurice Prendergast, old master paintings, important examples of African sculpture and Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts, and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. The Barnes Foundation's Art and Aesthetics programs engage a diverse array of audiences. These programs, occurring at the Philadelphia campus, online, and in Philadelphia communities, advance the mission through progressive, experimental, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, professional credentials and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.

The LEED® green building program is a voluntary, consensus-based global rating system for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. LEED addresses all building types emphasizing state-of-the- art strategies in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, locations & linkages, awareness & education, indoor environmental quality, innovation & education and regional priorities.

The Delaware Valley Green Building Council is a regional, mission-based nonprofit  organization that works to inspire, educate, and connect people around green building practices that will transform our communities into healthier, more prosperous places for people to live, work and learn. 



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