When the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College opens to the public Nov. 22, it is expected to be the first art museum in New York State to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The new Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College
Designed by the award-winning international firm Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects, the $33 million art center fronts Buffalo's historic museum district. It is one of the largest regional art museums in the country and is slated for LEED silver certification.
The LEED(R) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary third-party evaluation system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria, including: sustainable site development, water conservation, energy and atmospheric impact, use of green materials and resources, improved indoor air quality, and other innovations in green design processes and education.
In addition to its LEED Silver certification, the Burchfield Penney will be a participant in the New York Energy Smart New Construction Program, meeting New York State standards to reduce energy usage and consumption.
"Achieving LEED certification is very challenging for art museums given the exacting climate standards for art preservation, as well as the volume of visitors to the building," said Burchfield Penney Director Ted Pietrzak. "These challenges are intensified in Western New York with its cold winters and hot summers."
The Burchfield Penney is home to the world's largest collection of works by famed American watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893 - 1967), as well as his art studio and thousands of sketches, which provide a rare glimpse into his creative perspective and process. In addition to Burchfield, the collection includes 7,500 works by more than 600 artists, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Cindy Sherman, Susan Rothenberg, Robert Longo, Elbert Hubbard, and Gustav Stickley.
Buffalo was recently voted America's top arts destination by AmericanStyle, the magazine for art collectors and travelers. The city continues to experience a cultural renaissance rooted in its historic architecture, supportive cultural organizations, 10 local colleges, five major museums and nearly 200 independent art spaces.