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

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 certification under the LEED for 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.

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.

Shaw Nature Reserve
Examples of sustainable building practices at the Shaw Nature Reserve include the Dana Brown Overnight Center, the Nature Explore Classroom and the Edgar Anderson Center. Learn more


Native plants in bioretention areaThe Garden’s newly renovated parking lot provides a number of demonstrations of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) utilizing multiple types of porous pavements and an engineered rain garden (bioretention system). The installation and use of these BMPs will help capture and hold rain water on site and significantly reduce runoff, flash floods, soil erosion and water pollution.

  • The large engineered rain garden or bioretention system in the east parking lot was constructed with special rock and fiber filters, rain garden soil and native plants.
  • The porous concrete and asphalt allows water to go right through the paving surface into an underground reservoir where it filters into the soil.
  • Grasscrete pavers previously installed were retained which allow tree roots necessary water access.
  • A 2500 foot porous pave sidewalk or path leads into the parking lot.

These areas will capture 100 percent of the stormwater runoff from 90 percent of the St. Louis rain events (1.14 inches or less in a 24-hour period).

Download an illustrated pdf of our parking lot stormwater management improvements

Visit our Rainscaping Guide to learn more about how you can incorporate sustainable landscaping on your site that reduces stormwater runoff and improves local water quality.

BiodiverseCity St. Louis logo
BiodiverseCity St. Louis is a community initiative to promote, protect and plan for biodiversity throughout the Greater St. Louis Region, recognizing our region’s reliance on biodiversity, the variety of life and natural systems. Learn more