“The Greening of America’s Libraries” E-Book From ACRL and LLAMA

greeninglibrariesbookfrom the ACRL insider….

Check out this new ebook from ACRL and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA)  -  The Greening of America’s Libraries: LEEDing the Way  by Mary M. Carr and Steven L. Carr, United States Green Building Council (USGBC) trained and certified accredited LEED-AP professionals and librarians.   This ebook includes information, standards, and tools necessary to construct or renovate a library in accordance with the USGBC’s LEED requirements and process. It is available for purchase in a variety of e-book formats through the ALA Online Store and Amazon.com; and through EBSCO for library e-book collections.

Green Info Commons @UNB

The University of New Brunswick in Saint Johns (Canada) created a new commons that is environmentally friendly, LEED  silver certified. The Hans W. Klohn Commons opened in Fall 2011 and includes the library, the student tech center, the writing center, the math/science help center and a commons cafe – a true campus information commons! The space includes lots of natural and LED lighting, reuse of rainwater, geothermal technologies, and elevators that actually produces power when used back into the building.  Find out more about the space through these videos:

New LEED Library: West Vancouver Memorial Library

In June 2011, the 61 year-old building of West Vancouver Memorial Library  received LEED Canada Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance Silver certification, a FIRST for British Columbia!    The library manages its power consumption and you can view their Pulse Energy Dashboard, and they lend  power meters  to their patrons!   Individuals and the  institution take actions to  reduce garbage, recycle everything from styrofoam to electronics, conserve water and energy, & source and use greener office and cleaning supplies (check out their link to green suppliers).  They even created a Green Building Operations Policy.  Soon their will have a  new roof which will be low maintenance, cost effective and energy efficient. Their library green team educates and promotes sustainable actions such as  alternative transportation like walking, cycling, public transportation and carpooling which now is up to 50% of all staff members’ trips to and from the Library.

They are very interested in linking up with other librarians who have been working on making libraries greener so they can continue to improve.  From Librarian Tara  Matsuzaki:  “It is also our goal to inspire others and share how we took lots of small steps became more sustainabl.  Please visit our sustainability page or contact us. ” 

Read more about their amazing initiatives!

50 Online Resources for LEED Certification

Environmentalsciencedegrees.net just published a nice collection of resources on LEED certification called 50 Online Resources for LEED certification.  They include categories with links to sites that offer LEED Information and green building news and info on how to meet the standards, LEED education training and exam prep help,list of LEED experts, links to LEED materials and design guides, and LEED and green building forums. You can also check out the list on the right for more lists of resources relating to environmental topics or find a degree program through their search.

This website resource is not only good to pass along to your library patrons but useful if you are thinking about library green rebuild or getting LEED certification as a librarian. (Btw, I know several LEED AP certified librarians who rock: Anne Less, Ameet Doshi and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich to name a few; if you want to know more about this idea, I’m sure they would be happy to be contacted :)

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 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.

LEED Certification for Green Building

Are you building or remolding your library? Check out Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. It’s a “third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.” (LEED Rating System Info) LEED looks at 5 areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

For new construction check out LEED for New Construction. There are 4 levels: certified, silver, gold, platinum (levels are according to how many points you are awarded for meeting criteria in design, operations, construction and management). There is also specific LEED Certification for K-12 school (which can included higher ed)

Why LEED? There are environmental and financial benefits to getting certified green building (from LEED certification site):

  • Lower operating costs and increased asset value.
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills.
  • Conserve energy and water.
  • Healthier and safer for occupants.
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities.
  • Demonstrate an owner’s commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Read this article/study which shows LEED Buildings Outperform Peers for more info. The US Green Building Council Web site also provides many resources, details, templates, guides, and tools that would be a great help when considering LEED certification.

You also don’t have to be constructing a new building to go green. Here is an article on how to take existing buildings and transform them into LEED for Existing Buildings Certification (for Operations and Maintenance).