Exhibits Case Studies

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

Exhibits Case Studies
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children's Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

412.322.5058 (p)
412.322.4932 (f)

Anne Fullenkamp (contact)


  • Go Green & Get Real, (pdf) Jane Werner (Pittsburgh Children’s Museum), Hand to Hand, volume 20, Spring 2006

Nursery (originally built 2004; renovated in 2011)
Project Size: 2, 874 sq. ft.
Exhibit/Project Description:
The Nursery is a beautiful "green" space for infants, toddlers and their families filled with soft colors, inviting shapes and natural materials. Families enjoy both quiet, thoughtful play and active, creative play inspired by exhibits, activities and books that engage young minds and bodies.  Young visitors can arrange colorful pegs, play with trains and blocks, and paint with water.  Parents have dedicated Nursing and Resource Areas with current information on child development, support services and family fun. 

Factors Affecting Decision to "Go Green":
The Children's Museum's commitment to green design is reflected in all exhibit areas.  It is especially important in the Nursery where our youngest children explore, play and learn.  Inspired by the Reggio Emilio approach to early childhood, beautiful materials and artwork are assembled to create a place where families feel safe and free to explore with their youngest children. Sustainable materials including bamboo, wheat board and anti-microbial treated textiles are used throughout.  Natural light from large windows illuminate the space and cast dapples of color as it shines through beautiful historic stained glass.

Photo: Children's Museum Pittsburgh

Distinguishing green features:

  • Bamboo and wheat board surfaces
  • Sustainable materials, organic textiles, 100% recyclable carpeting and zero VOC paint
  • Reclaimed materials used to create new interactive activities in 2011
  • Re-use of historic materials including stained glass windows and bench
  • Responsible deconstruction of used materials
  • Natural manipulative materials such as sand and millet seed
  • Natural light used primarily
  • Non-toxic cleaners used exclusively

Piece of advice for others regarding project:
There is much research information available (via searches on the internet or similar) to support such a project as the Nursery.  In particular there is information about the use of natural materials and the use of green materials in early childhood environments.

New or Upcoming Green Projects:
A focus field trip, Everything Green, is now offered for student visits.  Two regional continuing credit courses for teachers are offered at the Children's Museum and include "Green Building as a Teaching Tool" and "Environmental Stewardship."