March 19, 2015

Blog: Pérez Art Museum Miami Nationally Recognized as Showcase Example of Sustainable Design With Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) received a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Rating for its innovative and sustainable design, use of local and recycled materials, and location with access to public transportation.

MIAMI - March 19, 2015 - Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) received a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Rating for its innovative and sustainable design, use of local and recycled materials, and location with access to public transportation. The state-of-the-art facility, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in downtown Miami’s Museum Park in December 2013.

Awarded by the US Green Building Council, the rigorous LEED certification uses a points-based system to evaluate new projects on their siting, sustainability, water efficiency, use of reusable energy sources and recycled materials, as well as their indoor environmental quality and design innovations, among other factors. The certification identifies PAMM as a showcase example of museum design that conserves resources while promoting the use of clean, renewable energy.

“Working in harmony with the natural environment to create a world-class model for sustainability was at the heart of the design concept for Pérez Art Museum Miami,” explained Interim Director Leann Standish. “The building was designed to function with as small of a carbon footprint as possible, while ensuring proper temperature and humidity controls needed for conserving, storing and displaying works of art.”

PAMM’s innovative design uses cutting-edge technology from around the world. The museum was the first in the U.S. to use Cobiax voided slab technology, a system that incorporates 100% recycled plastic with rebar into concrete slabs, which not only allows for expansive galleries with fewer support columns, but efficiently reduces approximately 35% of the amount of concrete used. The largest single sheets of hurricane resistant glass provide natural light throughout the museum, and the lush vegetation is sustained with rainwater collected in cisterns, and a drip-chain system that irrigates greenery from canopy to garage.

Due to South Florida’s tropical climate and severe heat, sustainable temperature control was a major consideration in the museum’s design. PAMM is cooled by a state-of-the-art Plenum system that recirculates air through ducts in the building’s floors, rather than ceilings, saving energy and improving efficiency. The museum is elevated above sea level, which not only puts the waterfront museum at a safe floodplain in the event of a hurricane, but also takes advantage of optimum breeze patterns off the bay, lowering the temperature of the museum’s indoor and outdoor spaces by as much as 10 degrees, year-round. The overhanding canopy shades the museum from South Florida’s intense sunlight, and PAMM’s signature hanging gardens create a microclimate throughout the terrace that filters sunlight and cools outdoor display areas. A solar study was done to optimize shading and window positioning to take advantage of the climate for maximizing visitor comfort and energy efficiency.

During construction, the architects focused on recycled and local materials throughout the museum, including steel, wood and gypsum extracted from sustainable sites within the state of Florida. Eighty-seven percent of the steel used was recycled, as was a substantial portion of the non-load-bearing concrete. Seating using sustainable cork, floor coverings are made out of Bolon, a recycled flooring alternative, and curtains made of recycled fibers and plastics were all used.

Public transportation access, site selection and restoration were also considered. The former home of an oil refinery, PAMM undertook an extensive remediation process to clean the Museum Park site and turn the blighted land into a valuable resource for the community. The formerly crime-ridden area has now become safe for visitors, allowing for the reopening of public transportation to the park.

A Miami-Dade Metromover station is adjacent to the museum, with bus and trolley access, as well as bike racks and a Citi Bike station. PAMM’s central location puts it within easy access of all the city’s major metropolitan areas.

LEED info bubble

About PAMM:
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. This mission is reflected in the initial installation of its permanent collection of art from the World War II era to the present, AMERICANA, at the new home of the 29-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM). Designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, the facility opened in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013, is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming. The facility features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with sprawling galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit, find us on Facebook (, or follow us on Twitter (@pamm).


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.

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