DMNS Addition Certified LEED Platinum

IMG_2021-300x225Denver, CO – The Morgridge Family Exploration Center, the latest 126,000 SF addition to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS), earns LEED Platinum certification via the U.S. Green Building Council. DMNS partnered with architecture firm, klipp|gkkworks and general contractor, GH Phipps Construction, on this five-story addition which opened to the public in February of 2014.
“Earning LEED platinum certification allows the Museum to continue its goal of informal education about sustainable practices,” said Elaine Harkins, Denver Museum of Nature & Science facilities director. “We will continue these efforts in our upcoming strategic plan.”The team designed the expansion to operate at a savings of 62.2% in energy use with a 50% reduction in energy costs relative to the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline. One of the contributing factors to the energy reduction and savings is an open-loop water-source heat pump that uses Denver’s non-potable water system. The seven 30-ton heat pumps provide 100% of the heating and cooling for the facility, as well as de-humidification in the summer.

Additional sustainable features include rooftop thermal panels that provide domestic hot water, 200kW of photovoltaic panels to offset electricity usage, waterless urinals and low-flush toilets that reduce 43% potable water use, diversion of 62% of construction waste from landfills and high-efficiency gearless elevators. Renee Azerbegi, owner of Ambient Energy, the energy, daylight and LEED consultant, comments, “It was a pleasure to work with the museum’s team to help them achieve their extraordinary sustainability goals on this project – LEED Platinum and 50% energy savings. These notable sustainability benefits will be realized by the thousands of visitors each day.”
This $56.5 million project is the second Museum Project to receive LEED Gold or higher, reinforcing the museum’s mission as a visible steward for sustainability.
Maria Cole, architect at klipp|gkkworks, who worked on these last two projects including the LEED Gold Phipps Gallery, adds, “Achieving high sustainability goals on museum facilities present unique design challenges. Climate control, galleries and collection storage, while saving energy, requires a sophisticated level of integration and communication amongst the team.”

Above ground in the new wing is the Morgridge Family Exploration Center and contains labs, educational spaces, an exhibition gallery and a Discovery Zone for young visitors. The two below grade floors contain the Rocky Mountain Science & Collections Center, which houses the Museum’s 1.4 million artifacts and specimens in an environmentally conditioned space. The adjoining Boettcher Plaza connects DMNS to City Park and allows for an Outdoor Studio for science activities for 315,000 children and teens who visit the Museum on an annual basis.

ABOUT klipp|gkkworks: Founded in 1979, klipp, a division of gkkworks, is an architecture, planning, and interiors firm with a history of innovative, award-winning designs. In 2012, klipp joined gkkworks, a nationally-recognized architectural and construction services practice.

ABOUT Denver Museum of Nature and Science: The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region’s leading resource for informal science education. Our mission is to be catalyst and ignite the community’s passion for nature and science. The Museum envisions an empowered community that loves, understands, and protects our natural world. As such, a variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205. To learn more about the Museum, visit , or call 303-370-6000. Many of the Museum’s educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.