Despite his notorious record of slashing environmental protection budgets and consistently relaxing regulations for industrial polluters, George W. Bush’s library blueprints demonstrate that green buildings have become the standard for modern contstruction in Texas.
Dallas News reports that the George W. Bush Presidential Center, slated to be built on a lonely patch of condominium land near the freeway, will meet the highest environmental and energy standards, despite a size of nearly a quarter-million square feet.
The center’s 23-acre tract will include native plants and sophisticated conservation measures, such as a wetland and underground cisterns to catch and recycle most rainwater. The building, made of Texas materials over cast concrete, will get nearly 10 percent of its electricity and all of its hot water from solar energy.
“There’s definitely a need for our society to evolve to more sustainable development practices. It makes sense for a variety of reasons,” said Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation, which is coordinating the project.
Although green cement policies have become very popular around Dallas and other North Texas cities as a way to promote better air quality, there is no word yet whether the Center will include this innovative material.
The building, which will house the former president’s archives, foundation, institute and a museum, is expected to be finished late this year. Designers working on the project said that the Center will eventually seek LEED Platinum certification.
But this shouldn’t come as such a surprise. A larger percentage of federal buildings are being built to be more environmentally-friendly thanks to a 2007 Executive Order requiring the government to have 15 percent of its existing building inventory incorporate sustainable elements by 2015.
And who signed this ambitious order? Why, George W. himself.
Image Credit - Copyright © 2009 George W. Bush Foundation
Architectural drawing of the Center from the southwest.