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photo of The Burke Museum Earns LEED® Gold Certification

The Burke Museum Earns LEED® Gold Certification


The new home of the Burke Museum, located on the northwestern edge of the University of Washington campus, has been certified LEED® Gold by the US Green Building Council. The Burke Museum is the oldest public museum in Washington State with a collection of over 16 million artifacts and specimens, ranging from totem poles and gemstones to dinosaur fossils.

Led by Design Principal Tom Kundig, Olson Kundig’s design breaks down traditional museum barriers between public and “back-of-house” spaces, integrating collections and research labs with traditional galleries. This approach to transparency and porosity enables both visitors and the surrounding community to engage with the process of scientific discovery in a true working museum. The building’s rational scheme also responds to the complexity of the Burke’s activities and collections, allowing for flexibility over time.

Additional sustainable design strategies include energy-efficient lighting; low-flow water fixtures; a high-performance mechanical system to ensure interior air quality; and use of local, recycled and durable materials, including its sustainable Kebony siding. The Burke Museum’s site plan and landscaping further incorporates natural stormwater filtration and thousands of native, genetically diverse and culturally significant plants.

The Burke Museum, Seattle, Washington

Design Principal: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA
Principal and Project Manager: Stephen Yamada-Heidner, AIA, LEED® AP
Project Architects: Edward Lalonde and Justin Helmbrecht, LEED® AP
Architectural Staff: Gavin Argo, Julia Khorsand and Olivier Landa, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C
Gizmo Design: Phil Turner
General Contractor: Skanska
Laboratories: BergerABAM
Landscape Architect: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
Elevators: Lerch Bates
Civil and Structural Engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Lighting Design: Niteo Lighting
Building Envelope: RDH
Electrical Engineer: Stantec
Mechanical Engineer: WSP
Gizmo Fabrication: Turner Exhibits
Specifications: Cite Specific
Museum Programmer: Walter Crimm Associates
Accessibility Consultant: Karen Braitmayer
Exhibit Design: Evidence Design