George W. Bush Presidential Center
Located on Southern Methodist University’s campus, the George W. Bush Presidential Center — which achieved LEED platinum certification (the highest rating) — is a marvel of environmental functionality and natural beauty.
It complements the larger SMU campus while displaying native Texas landscapes and employing such sustainable features as a 6,700-square-foot green roof, rain gardens and bioswales. The north and south lawn surrounding the Presidential Center and the green roof were planted with Habiturf®, a native turf mix based on Center research.
The Wildflower Center worked with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. and other design team participants to guide planning of the Presidential Center’s open space as an environmentally sustainable habitat. The final 15-acre design includes restored plant communities such as a floodplain forest, wildflower meadows and native grasslands.
A mock-up of the planting strategy was preemptively tested due to the complexity of the native plant pallet and land forms. Wildflower Center staff helped to monitor soil types, plant performance on slopes, irrigation demands and the establishment of seeds versus seedlings. This information was integrated into the construction specifications and maintenance plan.
The landscape ultimately surpassed the Main Quad as the largest tract of space for public use on the SMU campus. As an urban prairie project located in the heart of Dallas, it affords thousands of visitors and students the opportunity to view and learn about historic landscapes such as blackland prairie, post oak savanna and cross timbers woodland that once dominated North Texas.
“LEED Platinum-Certified George W. Bush Presidential Library Opens in Dallas” – Inhabitat
“George W. Bush Presidential Library’s Blueprints Filled With Green” – The Dallas Morning News
“Case Study: The George W. Bush Presidential Center” – Landscape Performance Series