The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian recently announced it was awarded a LEED silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the green Building Certification Institute, which will help the museum save money, reduce greenhouse emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for area residents.
"This achievement not only signifies the Smithsonian Institution's commitment to sustainability, it also advances our museum's mission to share traditional indigenous values such as stewardship and conservation," said Kevin Gover, director of the museum.
The USGBC rewarded the National Museum of the American Indian due to its energy savings, water efficiency, indoor environmental air quality and sustainable sites. Another feature of the building is its extensive use of native vegetation within the museum's landscape.
Montana State University is also home to a building that was recently awarded a LEED silver rating, with its Gaines Hall receiving the certification.
Some of the special features of Gaines Hall include a 52 percent reduction in water usage since its renovation, 70 percent savings on energy costs, and the use of reflective material, planting nearby trees and reducing the paving around the building decreasing its "heat-island" effect.