The Garden is committed to designing, constructing and operating all Garden facilities in compliance with LEED™ green building standards.

Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center

Jack C. Taylor Visitor CenterSustainably designed and built for future growth, the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center uses best practices in construction, design, and operation to achieve optimal use with minimal environmental impact.

  • Concrete cement, rock, and sand used in construction were sourced from local quarries, eliminating the emissions associated with transporting goods across long distances. The limestone and granite cladding on the exterior of the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center is sourced from a quarry in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.
  • Rooftop solar panels will produce an average of 300-megawatt hours per year, resulting in a reduction of carbon emissions roughly equivalent to the annual output required to power 33.3 homes annually.
  • A 50,000-gallon stormwater collection system built into the Garden landscape will reduce water consumption for the care of the thousands of plants in the displays that surround the Taylor Visitor Center.
  • Additional electric vehicle (EV) charging stations increase capacity for gas-free automobiles, including accommodations for accessible parking with an EV.
  • Enhanced digital displays and electronic ticketing reduce reliance on printed visitor materials.
  • Low-flow water fixtures reduce demand for potable water.
  • Automated mechanical systems provide high staff and visitor comfort while reducing annual energy expenses by 23 percent from standard technologies.

Bayer Center

Research facility of the Missouri Botanical GardenThe Bayer Center, the Missouri Botanical Garden’s research center located at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer, is a model of “green architecture.” Opened in 1997, the building brings together environmentally-friendly technology and design, from the siting of the structure and the materials used in construction, to the carpeting, paint and even the furniture. Recycled and recyclable materials are found throughout.

In February 2010, the Bayer Center officially earned Silver LEED certification under the Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system. Less than 500 buildings have received any type of LEED EB: Operations & Maintenance certification; the Bayer Center is the first in Missouri.

Commerce Bank Center for Science Education
Solar photovoltaic array on roof of Commerce Bank Center for Science Education

Commerce Bank Center for Science Education

Opened in 2003 after an extensive renovation, the Commerce Bank Center for Science Education is a model of green design and construction. Formerly a manufacturing facility, it was upgraded with energy efficient building systems, water saving plumbing, environmentally friendly building materials and native plant landscaping.

A 25 KW solar photovoltaic roof top array was installed to provide electricity for five percent of the building’s energy needs. A display in the lobby allows for real-time monitoring of energy production by the solar panels and creates a sustainable learning opportunity.

The Commerce Bank Center for Science Education earned ENERGY STAR certification in June 2011 and Silver LEED certification in 2012 and 2019.


Spink Pavilion

Beautifully restored Spink Pavilion Built late in the 1920s, the Spink Pavilion originally served as a public gatehouse entrance into the Garden. Stylistically inspired by traditional classical architecture, the central entry was a covered loggia defined by stone columns connecting twin flanking stone pavilions. The south pavilion served as a meeting and gathering space and the north pavilion included support spaces and restrooms. A kitchen was later installed. In 1990, the open loggia was fully enclosed with a custom, traditionally-detailed wood and glass storefront system to create a banquet hall for special events.

A popular venue for wedding receptions and other special events, the Spink Pavilion was recently renovated to increase the efficiency of the HVAC, lighting and plumbing systems while upgrading the roof and interior finishes. Most noticeable was the replacement of the window enclosures to more thermally-efficient glass and aluminum storefront system which allows for an unobstructed view of the outdoor landscaping and the Climatron, another of the Garden's architectural masterpieces.

During the renovation, 92 percent of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill by being recycled or repurposed which contributed to the Spink Pavilion earning LEED certification.


Stormwater Management

Native plants in bioretention areaThe Garden’s attention to stormwater issues makes it a model for businesses throughout the region.

  • At the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center, parking lots are engineered with pervious pavement and bioretention areas to retain 50 percent of overall stormwater in a typical St. Louis weather event. Additionally, 50 percent of the stormwater which falls on the Bayer Center is captured on site.
  • A 50,000-gallon stormwater collection system built into the Garden landscape reduces water consumption for the care of the thousands of plants in the displays that surround the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center.
  • The Garden has done extensive research on stormwater BMPs (best management practices) and offers resources and guides for homeowners to install their own rainscaping.