Green Mission

Green Mission

The Connecticut Science Center has been built GREEN from the ground up received a LEED-certified rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). LEED awards are given by the U.S. Green Building Council to projects that show a high level of commitment to sustainability through design and operation.
Read release on LEED Gold Certification here.

Here are just some of the many ways the Science Center is a real-world example of what it means to "be green".


  • LEED accredited professionals working closely with the Science Center to support the design integration required.
  • An impressive 95% of the steel used for the Science Center is manufactured from recycled cars
  • Recycling 75% of construction and demolition waste back to the manufacturing process; removal of contaminated soil and reuse as landfill cover
  • Use of locally manufactured building products, reducing the environmental impacts from transportation as well as supporting the local economy.

Energy and Natural Resource Use

  • By generating clean energy and power on site, the Connecticut Science Center is able to reduce the burden on the New England power grid and its impact on the environment by preventing the release of more than 270 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually versus an average fossil-fueled power generator. That is the equivalent of planting 63 acres of forest!
  • 48% of the building's exterior is comprised of special energy-saving glass. Sensors within the building detect the level of ambient light to automatically adjust artificial lighting levels, thus saving energy
  • Provisions made for a 60-foot wall of solar panels to supplement electrical and heating sources that power the building
  • An accessible planted roof top deck and plaza help maintain interior temperatures. Native plantings reduce irrigation by 50% over conventional means.
  • Low flow sinks and lavatories throughout the building
  • Purchasing power generated from renewable sources that meet the Center for Resource Solutions Green e-products certification requirements.

Living Our Green Mission

  • Provide for the effective delivery and mixing of fresh air to support the health, safety, and comfort of building occupants.
  • A permanent carbon dioxide monitoring system that provides feedback on space ventilation performance
  • Office furniture and other fixtures made from recycled products
  • Exhibits within the Smart Energy Gallery, one of ten galleries in the Science Center, allow visitors to experiment with renewable energy technologies and discover ways to increase energy efficiency
  • Educational programs that help YOU join the Connecticut Science Center in being green.

Building Features

The Hartford skyline has been redefined with the distinctive Connecticut Science Center building, designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli.

Cesar Pelli & Associates was selected to design the Connecticut Science Center in September 2004 after a competition among architects from around the world. Mr. Pelli, whose offices are in New Haven, Connecticut, proposed a building concept that is strongly reflected in the final design of the Center. “The Connecticut Science Center”, Pelli said, “will be a building that will communicate the excitement of science to the surrounding streets, river, and highway. The forms are ambitious and dynamic. They appear to reach out, beyond their physical limits.”

The building is a total 154,000 square feet. The Pfizer Foundation Science Discovery Center is located on street level and faces Columbus Boulevard; this area is home to four educational laboratories and a community room. The 460-space, three-floor Science Center / Riverfront parking garage is directly adjacent to the Discovery Center, along with back-of-house support services such as the loading dock and recycling facility.

Directly above the parking garage is the main structure of the Science Center and a plaza which connects to the riverfront and downtown Hartford. In mid-2010 a pedestrian bridge opened between the Science Center plaza and the Connecticut Convention Center.

During normal operating hours guests can enter the Science Center from four locations: the parking garage elevators, the Columbus Boulevard/Discovery Center entrance, one plaza entrance at lobby level on the North and another on the East facing the river.

The lobby level is home to ticketing, general information, a 3D theater, gift shop and a SUBWAY®; a ticket is not required to enter the shop or SUBWAY®. A signature feature of the Connecticut Science Center is the Magic Carpet Roof, under which is a soaring, light-filled atrium that is 143-feet at its tallest point. The atrium separates two towers filled with attractions, events, visitor amenities and 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits.