Museum Takes the LEED

Oct. 24, 2007

Boston, MA - The Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) has been recognized by AltWheels, the largest alternative transportation and energy festival on the east coast, for becoming the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified art museum in the United States.

On Boston's City Hall Plaza PAAM Executive Director Christine McCarthy stood next to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas, Massport CEO Thomas Kinton, and 15 others from around the region to accept a "Green Pioneer" award. The award, titled "National LEED Milestone," was given to PAAM and McCarthy on Sept. 28 during a ceremony led by former NPR Host Chris Lydon. The milestone was PAAM's first-in-the-nation LEED certified art museum status.


The LEED certification was accomplished by incorporating energy efficiency into PAAM's reconstruction. The museum was able to expand and, according to McCarthy, save an estimated $12,000 on heating and cooling annually. "Due to the renovations, PAAM has entered a new and exciting phase," said McCarthy. "It has been exciting and gratifying time since the renovations were completed in 2006."

"Receiving this award is a powerful and positive recognition not only of what PAAM has done, but the example we have set for other art museums nationwide. I hope more people will come see the expansion, the beautiful new spaces we've created, and the ways we're working to protect the environment."


An environmentally friendly, green design, the new structure follows principals set forth by the United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, with the intent to reduce PAAM's annual energy costs by $12,000. This effort, which included the redevelopment of PAAM's viewing areas equipped with climate and humidity controls into secure galleries and art storage vaults that fully comply with the American Association of Museums' construction, storage and exhibition standards, was completed in the Spring of 2006. The LEED Rating System was created to create consistent, credible standards for what constitutes sustainable design for the building industry.

Designed by internationally renowned architects Jorge Silvetti and Rodolfo Machado and their firm Machado and Silvetti Associates Inc., PAAM's green structure is a modern facility coupled with a historic structure that is the result of a combined effort by association members, Provincetown citizens, art leaders, and Massachusetts elected officials to ensure that the work of today's Provincetown Art Colony remains a vital force in shaping the thinking and vision of American artists for generations to come. PAAM plans to identify opportunities to expand its collection with the work of former members and Cape Cod artists, an effort made possible by a facility that meets national museum standards.

The PAAM project enlarged the existing 9,233-square-foot building to a total of 19,098 square feet. Additions included a storage vault, galleries, and art education studios. The addition's new first floor gallery is strongly tied to Commercial Street through large glass openings that allow pedestrians to visually engage the artwork before entering the building. The new spaces are clad primarily in weathered wood, glass, and board-formed concrete. These materials were chosen for their durability and direct relationship to traditional Cape Cod textures. While familiar, they are cast in a contemporary light through slight modifications to their arrangements, scale, and pattern.

With a membership of 1,700 and a collection of more than 2,000 important works of American and contemporary art, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum was founded in 1914 and is dedicated to promoting and cultivating the practice and appreciation of all branches of the fine arts, to assemble and maintain in the Town of Provincetown a collection of works of art, to hold exhibitions, and to promote education of the public in the arts through forums, concerts, and similar activities.

For more information about PAAM go to: http://www.paam.org/
For more information about AltWheels go to: http://www.altwheels.org/
For more information about LEED go to: http://www.usgbc.org/
For more information about the architects go to: www.machado-silvetti.com/

Contact: Jeremy Marin, FOCUS Communications LLC, 617-947-2409, [email protected]

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