BLACKSBURG, Va., May 31, 2007 – The Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design, the nation's number one ranked public institution for undergraduate architecture, will be collaborating with the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester, Va, in the creation of a new, green museum facility.
School of Architecture + Design faculty and students will act as an "honest broker" by quantifying the energy usage/savings of proposed sustainability systems, the effectiveness of watershed management, and more. "With Virginia Tech's participation, the project's profile elevated several notches." said Peggy McKee, the museum's executive director. "Our staff and our board began this journey with a commitment to do something for our community. We didn't fully anticipate the extent to which it has become a phenomenal magnet for drawing resources into our region."
Construction of the new 27,000-square-foot children's museum will begin in 2007 and will aim for the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The LEED Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, provides a list of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Projects are awarded certified, silver, gold, or platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve.
National cabinet manufacturer American Woodmark; Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc.; Reader and Swartz Architects; commercial cleaning and maintenance equipment leader Rubbermaid Commercial Products; Germany-based REHAU and BASF; Canada's Amvic; Carolina Stalite Company; and International Supply Consortium have all signed on to support the project.
Founded in 1996 as a 501c3 organization, the Discovery Museum provides children and their families and caregivers interactive exhibits and programs that focus on science, math, cultures, and the arts.