The George W. Bush Presidential Center recently earned Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The Bush Center is the first presidential library to achieve LEED Platinum certification under New Construction (v2009).

The Bush Center features green roofing systems to reduce heating and cooling demands, solar panels for producing electricity and hot water, building materials sourced from the region to lower transportation impacts, and rainwater recycling that will meet 50% of the irrigation needs of the native Texas landscaping. Regionally sourced building materials used in the Bush Center include Texas Cordova cream limestone from Central Texas, Permian sea coral limestone from near the Bushes’ hometown of Midland, Texas, stained pecan wood interior paneling, and Texas mesquite hardwood floors.

A 15-acre urban park surrounds the Bush Center and allows visitors to experience a distinctive, native Texas landscape in the heart of a major city. The project restored the land’s native habitat by planting more than 70% of the site, including more than 900 trees, more than 400 of which were transplanted from the Bushes’ Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. The native lawns are a blend of five drought-tolerant grasses, while the prairie and savannah areas are planted with 90 different native grasses and wildflowers.