2nd Library to go LEED platinum!

COLORADO (one of my favorite states :)  now boasts the 2nd Platinum LEED certified  library in the US  for the  Council Tree Library of the Poudre River Public Library District in Fort Collins.  LEED certification is granted by the US Green Building Council - 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders –  which provides third-party verification that a building  was designed and built green; i.e. granting points in areas of energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.  More points the higher the level earned (from certified, gold, silver to platinum as the highest level) The Council Tree Library received high marks in energy, lighting, water, and material efficiency and cite these statistics:

  • 26% lighting energy savings
  • 55% water savings
  • 92% construction waste recycled
  • 85% certified sustainable wood products
  • 21% overall recycled content in materials
  • 97% Energy Star equipment
  • use of natural light

Read more in the LJ article or visit them online (or better yet if you live in Colorado go and visit in person!)

green footstep

Building a new library soon? check out this cool site from Rocky Mountain Institute called Green Footstep.  It’s an online assessment calculator that guides you through creating a more carbon neutral, low energy building whether it’s a new building or retrofitting. Answer some questions regarding where the building is located, the ecosystem and building characteristic and you will get a report as a result.  There is a helpful FAQ section and some case study to peruse. http://www.greenfootstep.org/

Green Library Presentation

I was thrilled to present a workshop on Creating a Green Environment @ your library for the Southwest Workshop Days last thursday and friday in Durango, CO (a place I use  to live and work!) My slides, links and resources are on my wiki.  The workshop was held at the new Durango Public Library – a LEED gold certified library! There were attendees from other libraries in colorado planning to build or recently built green buildings  such as Mancos Public Library (LEED certified) Naturita Public Library (1st strawbale library in colorado) and Gunnison County library District (hoping to build green!) Here are more LEED certified buildings in Colorado.

UWM Library’s Green Learning Commons

from C&RL news:

The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee’s library recently renovated to create an environmentally friendly learning commons area. They incorporated not only a technology enhanced environment, but incorporated sustainable design principles creating a more energy efficient  – as well as healthier – environment.  You can read more on their renovations on their library’ renovations pages, but unfortunately they don’t list details on the sustainable aspect of their redesign.

Which bulbs to buy?

Greenstrides - a great place to get info on green products & practices written by a  sustainable designer and member of the US Green Building Council –  has a recent article on the latest in LED lighting.  The 3 basic types of lights are your normal  (1) incandescent light bulbs which last about 1000 hours; (2) CFLS - compact florescent lights which last an  average of 10,000 hours; (3) and  LEDs – light emitting diodes – which will last for 30,000 to 50,000 hours and they don’t have the little bit of toxic mercury the CFLs contain. And though they cost more, they last longer putting out less heat and using much less electricity.  They are easier to find and use these days for interior or exterior lighting.  Check out this greenstrides article for more information.

FREE Webinar: Become a Carbon Zero Hero

Free Webinar: Become a Carbon Zero Hero: Vanquish the Phantom Load Villain
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:00 – 3:30 PM EDT

Discussion on how to vanquish the phantom-load villains  that lurk in every location; summarize power-management strategies for reducing phantom-loads based on comprehensive on-site audits of more than 15 college campuses; analyze specific phantom-load usage by key higher education constituents and programs, such as staff, faculty, dormitories, and computer labs and libraries; feature examples of student-led energy conservation campaigns, including the University at Buffalo’s creative and successful “Do It In the Dark” campaign.

Bring more natural daylight to your library

Douglas County (CO) Public Library has installed a Sundolier device – donated by Sunflower Corporation.  What it does: device on the roof tracks the sun as it moves across the sky with two gears: one for azimuth and one for elevation thus works in summer and winter as sun angle changes. It focuses 4x the sun’s light into one point in the building which is then distributed  through the building lighting up about 1500 sq foot of space using only the same amount roof penetration that a regular skylight would use.  It saves money and creates healthier, happier, and a more productive environment with the use of natural sunlight. It’s totally self contained, no electrical connection, and uses photovoltaic power. Watch this video or visit the green section of their Web site for more information.

Top 10 Affordable Green Retrofits

From Green Strides Blog Post:

The Environmental Building News just issued it’s top 10 affordable green retrofit strategies that are useful even if your building doesn’t undergo a professional energy audit or major operational changes:

  1. Fluid applied roofing products that can be applied over existing roofing to extend its life, increase reflectivity and reduce cooling loads.
  2. Solar-Control Window Films (like those used on the headquarters building for the American Institute of Architects, pictured here) which filter out the sun’s heat without blocking visible light.
  3. Entryway Track-Off Systems that will extend the life of indoor flooring, as well as help maintain good indoor air quality.
  4. Low-Flow Showerheads can save as much as 6.4 gallons of water per minute in older shower facilities.
  5. Dual-Flush Flushometer Valves will cut water usage and utility savings associated with toilet flushing (the largest single use of water in most buildings).
  6. Duct Sealants will help you stop throwing money out the window with those energy-wasting, leaky ducts.
  7. Condensing Boilers (okay, this one isn’t that cheap, but neither is the waste from conventional atmospheric-combustion boilers).  The GreenSpec directory can help you find a high-efficiency condensing boiler when replacement is needed.
  8. Lighting and Plug Load Occupancy Sensors will reduce lighting energy use.
  9. Energy Dashboards are great energy-saving devices.
  10. Use of LED Exit Signs is another way to reduce energy consumption.