A Step in the Right Direction
On Saturday, our family had the great good fortune to participate in the Grand Opening of the Brunswick Public Library.
The new 15,000-square-foot building at 915 North Maple Avenue replaces the branch’s former 2,500-square-foot home at that same location. It sits on 1.59 acres of land. The library features a children’s room, teen zone, an adult reading room, and wireless Internet connection throughout.
The construction of the Brunswick Library heralds a new era in Frederick County. The building is the first county facility to earn the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U. S. Green Building Council. According to www.fcpl.org:
The “green” label stems from the use of “day-lighting” – large windows for maximum natural light – as well as an energy-efficient and highly maintainable HVAC system; LED, compact fluorescent and T5 fluorescent lighting; and water-saving lavatory fixtures.
Furthermore, the contractors were able to divert 97% of their waste, earning the library bonus points on LEED certification for going above and beyond the requirements for the credit. This LEED credit requires builders to keep 50-75% of their waste out of landfills.
The new facility also exceeds the water-use reduction standard of the LEED checklist, which only requires a 20-30% reduction. The Brunswick Library uses 43% less water than a conventional one.
According to the library’s press release, the project is waiting to hear whether it has received certification at the Silver Level of LEED Certification, based on the following:
ü Chose to build the new library on the previous building’s footprint.
ü Provided preferred parking for low-emitting and/or fuel efficient vehicles.
ü Covered 100% of the roof with Firestone white TPO roofing and PAC-CLAD Metallic Silver reflective materials, both of which reduce heat absorption.
ü Utilized dual flush toilets, low flow urinals, and aerators to achieve a total water savings of 42%.
ü Incorporated water-efficient landscaping to reduce water use by 50%.
Energy & Atmosphere
ü Utilizes on-demand water heaters so there is no electricity wasted keeping water hot in a tank.
ü Utilizes only fluorescent or LED energy-saver-rated bulbs throughout the building.
Materials & Resources
ü Diverted over 75% of their construction waste from landfills to Ritchie Land Reclamation, Georgetown Paper Stock, Gypsum Agri-Cycle, and RM Brokerage.
ü Utilized materials with an overall recycled content of 17%; 21% of overall materials were extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the job site.
ü 52% of all wood used on the project was Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, coming from well-managed, sustainably-harvested forests.
Indoor Environmental Quality
ü Utilized all low-VOC paint, adhesives, and sealants and an all-urea-formaldehyde-free wood.
ü 99% of all regularly occupied spaces have access to outdoor views, with 90% daylight penetration throughout the building.
ü Surveyed occupant’s thermal comfort to determine optimum temperature.
Innovation in Design
ü Exemplary performance in Construction Waste Management; Water efficiency; LEED Accredited professional; and provision of Green Educational material
We have a lot to be proud of this new building. For this event, I read the following:
On the Occasion of the Grand Opening of the Brunswick Public Library. April 16, 2011.
When the sun rises
You open your book
And the characters inside
Invite you in
A forest, maybe,
Thick with bramble, thistle, and
Or the farms in 1780,
Now dried and yellowed along with the season,
Where Smith and Hollyday surveyed and divided
For their families
Or maybe a train station, the B & O, where
Passengers wait on a platform
You, with a book in your hand,
Dog-eared and creased
Read and re-read
From your personal library
As we gather here
Where once were forests, farms, and passengers
This library that we open today
Invites you in
To share its story with you
Its gift of today
And its promise of tomorrow