you're reading...
Energy, Environment

Unique Features of the New Bush Presidential Center

The George W. Bush Presidential Center was dedicated in a formal opening ceremony on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

George W. Bush Presidential Center (at night, photo courtesy of the Bush Presidential Center)

George W. Bush Presidential Center (at night, photo courtesy of the Bush Presidential Center)

In attendance were President Obama, guest of honor – President George W. Bush, and Presidents Jimmy Carter and George Herbert Walker Bush. The wife of each president was also in attendance. The center is home to the Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and the Bush Institute. 

Architectural Rendering w/Landscape Design (photo courtesy Bush Presidential Center)

Architectural Rendering w/Landscape Design (photo courtesy Bush Presidential Center)

The center’s 226,000-square-foot building and 15-acre urban park reside on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. It is the 13th presidential library and museum that has been built. By far it is the largest and most expensive. This is in keeping with the saying, “everything is bigger in Texas.”

About a month earlier, the George W. Bush Presidential Center achieved Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program [Ref 1]. It is the first presidential library/center to achieve platinum level certification as a new construction project.

The LEED building certification program encourages the use of designs, materials and systems that are sustainable, energy efficient and reduce a facility’s impact on the environment and human health.  One of the unique aspects of this project was the site development and restoration of habitat.  Seventy (70) percent (17.6 acres) of the site was replanted with native habitat. Materials were used with a minimum Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of 29 that is effective in reducing the heat island effect of commercial projects.

A Great American Moment, 04.25.2014 (photo courtesy of Paul Morse for the Bush Presidential Center)

 All construction materials are from recycled products and emit little or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which helps maintain healthy indoor air quality levels. A large portion of the materials were manufactured and/or purchased from regional areas. Water efficiency was also a large part of the construction. The facility reduced water usage by 40 percent. Landscaping is also water efficient with native plants and water conserving irrigation systems.

The center was designed with energy efficiency in mind. It has green roof systems, solar hot water systems, and a solar photovoltaic system. Some of the unique energy efficient design components include: [Ref 1, 2]

·        Green roof systems 1,550 square feet in three areas, reducing cooling and heating demands.

·        Solar hot water system: 2,500 square feet of panels with 1,800 gallons storage capacity supplies 100 percent of the Bush Center’s domestic hot water.

·        Solar photovoltaic system: 19,000 square feet of panels capable of generating 164 kilowatts or 9.5 percent of the Bush Center’s energy demand.

·        High performance, low iron insulated glazing units to reduce heating and cooling loads.

·        High efficiency HVAC systems to reduce energy demand.

·        Deep exterior overhangs to shade Bush Center building.

If you don’t have a car, or don’t want to wrestle with traffic, alternative transportation modes [Ref 2] add to the center’s design. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) rail and bus service is located near the facility and there are designated parking spaces for low-emission, fuel-efficient, and carpool automobiles, making alternate transportation to and from the facility easy to achieve.

George and Laura Bush (photo courtesy The Bush Presidential Center)

President and Mrs. Bush founded the Bush Center to continue their work expanding freedom at home and around the globe.  Built with private donations, the Bush Presidential Library and Museum opens to the public on May 1, 2013. More than $500 million was raised for this project. The center is housed on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.


1. Earning LEED Certification, http://www.bushcenter.org/sites/default/files/BushCenter-LEED.pdf

2. George W. Bush Presidential Center Obtained LEED platinum certification, Environmental Protection Online, http://eponline.com/articles/2013/04/25/george-w-bush-presidential-center-obtained-leed-platinum-certification.aspx


About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


6 thoughts on “Unique Features of the New Bush Presidential Center

  1. Hello! I just wish to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you’ve got here on this post. I’ll be coming back
    to your website for more soon.


    Posted by immerda.ch | May 25, 2013, 6:57 am
  2. I do agree with all of the concepts you’ve introduced for your post. They’re very convincing and
    can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are
    too quick for novices. Could you please extend them a
    little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.


    Posted by chwilówka przez internet | June 18, 2013, 7:58 am
  3. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your
    site in my social networks!


    Posted by tanie pozycjonowanie stron | June 20, 2013, 2:55 pm
  4. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to
    be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you,
    I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they
    just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also
    defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks


    Posted by Test | June 30, 2013, 11:10 pm
  5. Wow, superb blog format! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The full glance of your site is great,
    let alone the content!


    Posted by szybki kredyt | July 1, 2013, 3:59 pm
  6. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am truly impressed to
    read all at one place.


    Posted by Islandia | August 1, 2013, 12:03 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: