Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising

Sustainable Building Associate

The renovation and addition to Avenir Museum on Colorado StateUniversity’s main campus has earned LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The museum houses a large permanent teaching and research collection of over 20,000 textiles, clothing, and household furnishings. The 18,676 square foot project consists of museum conservation spaces, collection storage, faculty and staff offices, a classroom, a conference reading room and two galleries.

CHHS_Avenir_212The project team for Avenir Museum incorporated many innovative and sustainable strategies into the design and construction of this building. Balancing needs for museum conservation with the sustainability goals set forth by the University was a key goal. High performance glazing, gasketed doors, and building envelope improvements contribute to the superior energy performance while meeting the temperature and humidity needs of the museum. Low VOC adhesives, paints, and carpets further enhance the air quality of the indoor environment and align with museum conservation practices. Daylighting in the classroom and conference room not only reduces energy consumption, but is also improves the quality of the indoor environment. Efficient indoor water fixtures reduce the daily water consumption by 30% compared to a typical building.

CHHS_Avenir_007The location and access to public transit allow occupants to use altern
ative forms of transportation including bicycles, busses, and carpools. Avenir Museum also dedicated parking space for low-emitting vehicles (LEV), earning an additional LEED point.

Attention was paid to the materials used on the project; over 13% of these materials contained recycled content, and over 27% of these materials were regionally sourced, including the bricks for the facade that mimics textile patterns and textures. In addition, over 86% of the project’s construction waste was diverted from the landfill. As a teaching museum, the building itself now teaches every day. A self-guided tour educates staff, students, guests and visitors about the challenges of building a green museum and highlights the building’s green design elements.

Avenir Scorecard

LEED Scorecard


Client/Funding Agent:
 Colorado State University
Location: CSU Center for the Arts
Certification: LEED for New Construction, Certified Silver

Helpful Links:

Green Museums: A LEED Primer for Preservation Professionals, The Getty Conservation Institute: https://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/newsletters/29_2/green_museums.html

Principles of Sustainable Design, National Building Museum: http://www.nbm.org/exhibitions-collections/exhibitions/the-green-house/principles.html

Sustainability Campaign, Museums Association: http://www.museumsassociation.org/campaigns/sustainability/sustainability-report

Sustainability and Museums: Your Chance to Make a Difference, Museums Association: http://www.museumsassociation.org/download?id=16398

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh: https://pittsburghkids.org/about/green-museum

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery: http://www.fcmod.org/about-the-museum/sustainability/

St Louis Art Museum Expansion: http://www.usgbc.org/projects/st-louis-art-museum-expansion

Sustainable Museums: Greening museums’ practices and programs: http://sustainablemuseums.blogspot.com/

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