Building heroes

Louisiana Children’s Museum | USA

Following Hurricane Katrina, this children’s museum adapted its mission to help the local community recover in a sustainable way 💚

Not only did the LEED Silver Louisiana Children’s Museum (LCM) reframe its mission to address storm-related trauma, it also set out to tackle the state’s consistent ranking among the lowest 5% nationally for educational outcomes. It developed a new model for children’s museums, combining environmental education and community resources with conventional children’s play elements. A core part of the learning framework had to do with connecting children to nature and bringing the environment into the museum experience.

Connecting people with nature is a pillar of the museum’s design, distributed strategically into two linked buildings to protect existing live oaks while enhancing the lagoon and open areas for environmental education. Thus, the visitor experience is choreographed to move them through groves of live oaks, across water and into a courtyard and sensory gardens. LCM strives to maximise resilience, as the building and site are designed to accommodate periodic flooding, and mitigate the hot, humid climate with passive strategies in addition to innovative radiant floor cooling.

With the help of stakeholders like Arup, the museum and design teams integrated a chilled slab system into the exhibit space — the first of its kind in Louisiana – that saves significant energy usage and reduces costs. The high humidity levels of the Gulf Coast were also addressed by employing multiple dehumidification strategies, therefore introducing comforting ventilation air at normal humidity levels. With this system, less energy is needed to distribute cooling and, thus, less duct work is required.

Honouring the dedicated #buildingheroes who made this wonderful achievement a possibility!

Mithun Waggonner & Ball Architecture Thornton Tomasetti Robert Treece Arup Roy Anderson Corp 4EA Building Science Gyroscope Inc. Studio Matthews The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

📸: Kevin Scott / Kevin Barraco 

#greenbuildings #sustainability #museum #childrensmuseum #climatechange #energyefficiency

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