LancasterHistory.Org Earns LEED Silver

Published on October 25th, 2016

One of Centerbrook Architects & Planners’ most honored designs has added yet another feather to its cap.

The LancasterHistory.org Campus of History has been certified LEED® Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. LEED-certified buildings are found in all 50 states and in more than 161 countries and territories.

“We’re proud to set a new standard in our area for environmental preservation among cultural organizations,” said Tom Ryan, President & CEO of LancasterHistory.org. “Lancaster County’s heritage is truly about the connection between the people who have settled here for more than 300 years and the land they’ve lived on. As stewards of that history, we feel we have a responsibility to do our part in protecting the future of the same land.”

Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, LancasterHistory.org’s Campus of History includes a modern museum, research library, and archive, as well as Wheatland, the home of 15th U.S. President, James Buchanan. The main building features an open-loop geothermal well system for heating and cooling, rooftop PV panels, an exceptionally insulated building envelope, copious natural day-lighting and porous pavement outdoors to protect the nearby Conestoga River from excess storm water runoff.

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The LancasterHistory.org project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”

The building’s features tallied 50 points on the LEED scale to earn BD+C (Building Design + Construction) Silver, highlighted by double-digit scores in the categories of sustainable sites, indoor environmental quality and energy & atmosphere.

The Campus of History was born from Centerbrook’s master plan that united Lancaster County’s Historical Society and President James Buchanan’s Wheatland, two formerly separate organizations that merged, creating one unified history center that was renamed LancasterHistory.org. The 20,000-square-foot addition to the existing headquarters opened in February, 2013, and has since garnered six different design awards, including two from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

“What made this project particularly interesting were the intersecting demands of sustainable design and museum quality light, temperature, and humidity,” said Centerbrook partner Mark Simon, FAIA. “We found that their rigors actually reinforced each other. For instances, the north-facing studio-style windows provide copious indirect light without solar heat gain, the superior air quality is as beneficial to humans as it is to artifacts, and the underground archives keep steady temperatures more readily than above-ground space, minimizing energy use.”

LancasterHistory.org’s Campus of History is the 16th project designed by Centerbrook to earn LEED certification. An additional eight are currently slated for certification.