Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center Receives LEED Gold

By Erin Carlson Mast

It’s official. The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).  The Visitor Education Center received all 44 credits the project applied for under NC 2.2 (New Construction and Major Renovations).   A minimum of 39 points are required for LEED Gold.  The project was completed prior to USGBC releasing LEED v. 3, which includes changes to the rating system that will benefit existing and historic buildings.

Thanks to a $1 million contribution and technical expertise provided by United Technologies Corporation, green building practices became an integral part of the rehabilitation of the President Lincoln’s Cottage Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center, a 1905 Beaux Arts style building adjacent to the Cottage.

The restoration minimized adverse environmental impact through the use of energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.  Windows were fully restored while low volatile organic compound (VOC) paint and flooring materials, energy efficient lighting, and recycled materials were used wherever new fixtures and finishes were required.  As a result, this building became the first at a National Trust Historic Site to receive LEED certification.

Through the vision and leadership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and United Technologies Corporation, the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage stands as a model for the important role historic buildings play in environmental stewardship.

Read more on the National Trust Historic Sites Blog.

Ms. Mast is the Curator at President Lincoln’s Cottage.
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