The Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center

The new Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center is the first phase in a new 15-acre science campus devoted to plant conservation at the Chicago Botanic Garden. A 38,000-square-foot laboratory building designed to earn the coveted gold LEED rating from the U.S Green Building Council, the science center offers state-of-the-art research facilities to the Garden’s team of scientists, graduate students, interns, and collaborators–200 strong–who will conduct research, provide leadership on conservation and other environmental issues, and work with partners worldwide to tackle this pressing issue.

It will also serve as home for the Garden’s Master’s Degree and new Ph.D. programs in Plant Biology and Conservation, offered in partnership with Northwestern University.

View the invitation to the Grand Opening of the building.

Visitors Welcome

The new Plant Science Center offers plenty of opportunities for public viewing and learning. Visitors can view scientists at work in their labs, interact with hands-on exhibits, visit the new 16,000-square-foot roof garden that will include both display and evaluation gardens, and gain a better understanding of the Garden’s crucial role in plant conservation.

Building Green in the Garden

The Garden demonstrated its commitment to the environment through the construction of the new Plant Science Center. Here’s a look at special “Green” features:

  • Designed to earn a gold LEED rating for sustainable design from the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Recycled Materials: 20 percent recycled materials (post-consumer and half from pre-consumer) will be used in the building.
  • Energy-Efficient Design: Careful attention was paid to selection of energy-efficient lighting, mechanical equipment, insulation of exterior walls and roof, windows with Low-E and high-performance glass, and air lock vestibules at all entrances.
  • Water Efficiency: A rainwater glen will surround the building to naturally pool water to slowly absorb back into the ground and surrounding lakes, preventing runoff. The green roof system holds rainwater to be used later by the plants.