In the process of digging the huge Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir in Southern California, some significant fossils were discovered. The fossils have been sitting around for several years waiting for a super-modern museum to call home, so The Center for Water Education Foundation and the Western Center Community Foundation commissioned Lehrer Architects to design such a place. The result is the Water + Life Museums, a complex that just so happens to claim a right to being the world’s first LEED Platinum certified museum.
The award-winning museum complex has received attention for its sustainable design features. For instance, the various structures are topped with a massive, 540-watt, 3000 panel photovoltaic installation that provides roughly half the museum’s energy needs.
The $40 M building also incorporates several other green elements, such as heat-blocking glass, natural light emitting windows, smart interior lighting, radiant floor heating and cooling, drought tolerant landscaping, and a drip irrigation system that uses reclaimed water.
Speaking about the design, Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA and principal, said, "We are gratified to receive the Platinum rating, but even more proud that the Water + Life Museums will effectively conserve water and electricity for generations to come … the museumâ€™s exhibits are about local resources, so the building itself is â€˜livingâ€™ example of sustainability and conservation." The complex was built with the expertise of the Lehrer + Gangi Design + Build team and various consultants. It’s quite incredible, I think …