Little White House adds sustainable museum

April 01, 2005 |

The rejuvenating characteristics of the warm, buoyant spring waters from which Warm Springs, Ga., takes its name first attracted Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1924 when he visited the small town seeking a cure for his infantile paralysis. While Roosevelt never found a cure, the sustaining qualities of the waters made him a frequent visitor, and in 1932 he built a home there, which would became known as the Little White House after he became president.

Now a historic site, the house in which Roosevelt died in 1945 recently underwent a sustainable rejuvenation of its own with a renovation and the addition of a 10,000-sf museum, which opened to the public in April 2004. In February, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded the museum component a Silver certification under version 2.0 of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

A design-build project for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the project featured West Point, Ga., contractor Batson-Cook as lead, with Hecht, Burdeshaw, Johnson, Kidd & Clark, Columbus, Ga., as architect.

Garnering 36 out of a possible 69 LEED points, the project uses water conservation measures, such as waterless urinals, and collects rainwater in an underground storage tank to operate the chiller system, says Batson-Cook senior project manager, Frank S. Newman.

The project also won points for the use of regional building materials harvested and manufactured within a 500-mile radius. One example is the Tennessee stone that adorns the museum exterior.

Other sustainable features include the use of a highly reflective roof coating to reduce heat build-up; use of trees cleared from the site as mulch; recycling of building scraps; use of high-efficiency HVAC systems and dimming systems on specialty lighting for energy conservation; use of low odor/low VOC paints, adhesives, carpeting, and floor coverings; and daylighting measures to minimize use of artificial light.

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