Riverfront Museum earns LEED gold status

By WEEK Producer

July 19, 2013 Updated Jul 19, 2013 at 9:54 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria Riverfront Museum has received a distinct certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

It's called LEED or leadership in energy and environmental design.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is an 80,000 square foot green energy powerhouse. Enough of a powerhouse that the facility earned LEED gold status, the second highest award for environmentally friendly features.

"What these LEED buildings mean is it's a healthier living environment and working environment, lower operating costs for this building, and also a reduction of fossil fuels,” Riverfront Museum Vice Chair Dan Daly.

Daly said the process took four years to achieve from planning to groundbreaking to now. The gold status is based on points earned for all the green aspects of the building, like the carpet which is 27 percent recycled hog hair.

"It's locally sourced, it doesn't have to travel a long way to get here, it uses recycled content, and it can be recycled when we're done with it,” said Assistant Director of Education Ann Schmitt.

Even the paint on the walls is “green”, even though it looks gray.

"All of the paint has low VOC and that is volatile organic compounds because in addition to protecting the environment, we want to protect our visitors,” said Schmitt.

Another LEED contributor is called the Bioswale and it is all part of a system where if rain is coming down, it goes through the roof and eventually out so its really a waterfall when it's raining.

So where does the water go?

"A depression lined in the ground with rock and gravel and native plantings and the gravel in the roots of the native plants process the pollutants in the rain as it falls," said Schmitt.

That ends up going into the Illinois River.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.