USGBC Knowledge Exchange

The US Green Building Council  has a useful USGBC Knowledge Exchange definitely worth checking out, passing on, and  adding to your library’s online library of resources!  The Resource Catalog is a collection of cataloged free digital resources that relate to green building, energy efficiency, urban design, etc. If you  want a link added, you can email them ( the resource link.   There is also a  Podcast – USGBC Knowledge Exchange offering audio podcasts by experts in the field on latest in innovation and best practices in sustainable design, construction, operations, planning and LEED –  through iTunes store.  There is also a link to the Knowledge Center containing USGBC’s in-house library with a collection of more than 500 items. Soon they will be adding a Speaker’s Registry. Check it out!

and thanks to Anne Less of the USGBC for her work on this resource and bringing it to my attention!

How Green is My Library? book

I have to promote a wonderful new book that was recently published called How Green is My Library? by Ned Himmel and Sam McBane Mulford (info) published by Libraries Unlimited. The book covers both design of green buildings and how to make your library green using green initiatives and green goals for such things as alternative transportation, recycling, etc. It offers checklists, guides, and tools for evaluating the greenness of existing or planned facilities and operations and many potential solutions for implementation of these ideas. Written for the novice through advanced,  it’s worth the purchase for any library. (I’ll admit I may be slightly biased as they used some of my blog post ideas in their book  -thanks Ned & Sam! 🙂

Also listen to the authors speak about their book at a FREE online webinar on Feb 11 at 2pm (eastern) through OPAL.

Another GREEN Colorado Library

The  Rangeview Library District’s new branch library –  Anythink Brighton – is the first carbon-positive library in the United States. With solar panels, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a gift of carbon-offset credits, the library will save $30,000 a year in energy costs and offset 167,620 pounds of carbon dioxide which is 16% more than it is anticipated to use annually. .. Read more online at  the American Libraries Magazine.

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.

Open Air Library (in Germany)

Check out the Magdeburg’s Open Air Library made from over 1000 beer cartons and incorporating parts of the facade from the city of Hamm’s demolished Horten warehouse (and with the help of designer  Karo Architekten) It’s both a cultural center and a “pop-up library” where books (which were gathered by residents and donated) are free to take and leave 24 hours a day. The grassy plaza area has a “reading cafe and a stage that hosts elementary school theater plays, public readings, concerts, and other cultural events.”

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.