Children’s Museum of South Dakota Awarded Prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification


Children’s Museum of South Dakota Awarded Prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification

June 14, 2014

Share This
Share This

BROOKINGS, SD – The Children’s Museum of South Dakota, has been awarded LEED® Silver Certification, established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

CMSD’s Executive Director Suzanne Hegg states, “Because our museum is all about learning and imagining possibilities, being a LEED certified building was a goal from the very beginning of our planning process. We not only want to ‘be green’, we want to inspire the children and their grown-ups who play and learn here to ‘think green’ as well.”

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, the Children’s Museum of South Dakota is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”

The children’s museum earned LEED recognition in a number of different categories, some of which include:

  • Sustainable Sites: The renovation of the historic 1936 Central Elementary building reduced waste which would have otherwise filled up landfills and also reduced the number of new materials needed to construct the project.
  • Water Use Reduction: Utilization of low flow lavatory faucets and dual flush water closets reduced water usage by 40% when compared to a typical building. The installation of rain gardens and drought tolerant plantings carry the implementation of green practices into the outdoor spaces as well.
  • Materials and Resources: Throughout the project care was taken to salvage and reuse as many existing building materials as possible, including existing wood doors, built-in casework, wood floors, terrazzo flooring and others. For example, the existing wood bleacher seats were reused for exhibit fabrication, for flooring, for a custom guardrail in the gym space, and for benches throughout the museum. Wood flooring, school lockers, and window air conditioners were placed on the curb and reused by local residents.
  • Energy and Atmosphere: The historic building’s mechanical and electrical systems were replaced by new systems designed to provide optimum occupant comfort in regard to lighting, heating, and cooling while maintaining optimum efficiency.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: With the primary user group being children, a safe, healthy, non-toxic environment was imperative. This was achieved by specifying low-VOC materials and finishes, by specifying durable, easily cleaned materials, and by implementing a green cleaning program.

Executive Director Hegg continues, “While renovating an historic building is challenging, building green is an investment in our future. Look for signage throughout the museum telling about our green practices. Find cupboards made out of sunflower seed hulls. Find beautiful countertops made from recycled bottles. Find our rain gardens. Our goal is not only to reduce and reuse here at the museum but also to invite our guests to imagine how our entire community can live green. Come join the fun!”



The Children’s Museum of South Dakota, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, opened its doors and welcomed visitors September 12th, 2010. It boasts 21,000 square feet of interactive indoor exhibits and programming as well as 1.5 acre outdoors exhibit space. The museum was created on 4-acres of land in a 38,000 square foot elementary school, originally built in 1936, on the edge of downtown Brookings and in the heart of the Brookings Historic District. The Children’s Museum of South Dakota is the first broad-based, cross-discipline children’s museum in the state of South Dakota. The purpose of the Children’s Museum of South Dakota is to promote learning for children of all ages and abilities through interactive, hands-on exhibits and activities. The museum is a welcoming, lively, and entertaining environment that sparks learning through imagination, creativity, and discovery, a place where children and adults learn through play. Come join the FUN!

ABOUT U.S. Green Building Council

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.


The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 100,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED rating systems, comprising over 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries.

USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research organization in the nation.
For more information, visit