Designed by world renowned architect, David Chipperfield of London, the 117,000 SF structure located on a two block central urban setting, encompasses the latest in technology and green design features. Eighteen-foot tall panels of triple-pane glass form exterior and interior walls. A copper screen is sandwiched between the two outer panes contributing to the retention of solar energy. The challenge was minimizing ultraviolet rays which can cause deterioration of books. By calculating the angle of the sun at specific times of the day and times of the year, engineers were able to make modifications that reduce the ultraviolet radiation coming into the building by 83%.
To avoid giving the copper a darker green shade, the outermost panes of glass were made with low lead content. The building is one of the first in the world to use the glass system with a copper screen. The glass walls give the library a truly transparent look from the inside, and from the outside after dark when the lights are on. Of the all glass building, 80% was vision glass.
A green roof, 18" thick increases the thermal insulation of the roof, decreasing energy usage. From the surrounding high-rise office buildings, the green roof blends with green spaces to form a park-like setting.
The interior is very minimalist with exposed natural concrete in walls and ceilings. The sprinkler system was coordinated with the architecture with constant diameter piping run up concrete columns to maintain a consistent aesthetic.
Another unique feature is the raised floor system throughout the building for technology cabling and HVAC, providing flexibility for future moves, expansions, or technology advancements. All air conditioning and heating comes from the floor plenum. Over 200 fan coil units line the perimeter, meeting the high skin loads of the building. The core of the building uses a constant volume pressurized floor with multiple floor grilles that can be modulated as needed. Modular high efficiency chiller and boilers, allowing heating and cooling to fluctuate with the changing load of the building.
Ventilation is through large energy recovery ventilator units which reclaim over 80% of the energy from the exhaust air leaving the building. The extensive DDC system monitors CO2 levels which indicate occupancy. Ventilation levels are adjusted to meet varying occupancy levels, saving significant energy by reducing outside air requirements. An additional challenge is the structures location on top of an underground parking area, requiring ventilation and CO2 control to adequately ventilate the space.
Preliminary modeling shows a nearly 25% reduction in energy costs. KJWW assisted the owner in receiving an $80,000 rebate from the local utility company for its energy efficient design.
Technology designs include digital and analog phone systems with VOIP for the future, a wireless network for voice and data with 100% coverage throughout the building, audio/visual equipment in the ICN classroom and several meeting rooms, and security and access control. There is also a 28-computer lab that serves as a classroom.
Additional technology features include a large wide-screen monitor in the children’s section and a collection of audio books in MP3 format. Technology plans include the ability for patrons to download books from home.