The Mind Museum champions sustainable architecture

LOCATED in the premier district of Bonifacio Global City The Mind Museum is not only a venue for learning but also an example of an ecologically responsible building. The country's first world-class science museum, in fact, is now LEED Gold certified by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED (Leadership in Environment and Energy Design) is an internationally recognized building certification program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance "green buildings."

"Green buildings" around the world are known to enjoy a number of benefits including lowering their operating costs and increasing their asset value, while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being. The levels of certification are: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Certified.

The Mind Museum's proponent, Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. (BAFI), worked with architecture firm Lor Calma & Partners led by Ed Calma, seasoned engineers, and LEED consultants to make The Mind Museum more efficient in using resources and preserving the environment. The sustainable features of the facility include the following:

Water and energy efficiency

The Mind Museum uses collected rainwater and condensate water for its cleaning, thus saving over 70% of potable water use for sewage conveyance. It also saves 22% more energy than an ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) compliant building due to its efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and cooling) system. Its lighting system is 95% LED, the most cost-efficient and environment-friendly lighting available today.

The museum also uses built-in solar-assisted air conditioners for its offices and solar panels to help light a good portion of the facility.

One of the attractions of the museum is the botanical garden. It has non-invasive species of flora that improves water absorption on the ground, which in turn helps prevent flooding.

Eco-friendly building materials

Products with high recycled content were used in major materials, like steel and other metal requirements. Supplies for landscaping were sourced locally, hence reducing the environmental impacts brought by transportation.

The museum used paints and adhesives with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) to improve indoor air quality. It likewise has a materials recovery facility to properly dispose biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

Moderate daily temperature

To avoid direct sunlight and heat island effect (HIE), The Mind Museum was designed with curved down roofs and slanted walls. A portion of the museum’s roof is covered by vegetation for added insulation against heat. Majority of the site’s pavement is made with highly reflective materials to diminish HIE within the museum and nearby areas.

In an official statement, Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair of USGBC, said that: “The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most-important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health. The work of innovative building projects such as The Mind Museum is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”

The Mind Museum opened to the public in March 2012 and has so far accommodated about 300,000 visitors. Reflecting the principles of sustainable architecture, The Mind Museum, is truly a Science exhibit in itself—certainly worthy of the LEED Gold certificate. (PR)
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