Cool Bookish Places

Environmentally-Friendly Libraries

The only thing better than a cool library is a cool library that is eco-friendly, right? So for National I Love My Library Month, here’s a tour of some of the greenest libraries in the US. Each of these libraries is LEED certified.

1. City of Scottsdale Appaloosa Branch Library – Scottsdale, Arizona

scottsdale 2

scottsdale 1

Notable sustainable features: 

  1. More than 95% of construction waste was recycled.
  2. Most landscaping requires no irrigation.
  3. Automatically adjusted daylighting brings in natural light throughout the day without overheating the building.


2. Battery Park City Library – New York, New York

battery 1


battery 2

Notable sustainable features: 

  • Floors made from reclaimed wood
  • Carpets made from recycled tires
  • Non-toxic paints
  • Low-water use fixtures in bathrooms.


3. Hillsdale Branch Library – Portland, Oregon

hillsdale exterior

hilldale interior

Notable sustainable features: 

  • Reused materials from the deconstruction of previous library building
  • Sustainably–grown wood used throughout building
  • Advanced materials on exterior walls and roof reduce cooling needs.d

4. Sun Valley Branch Library – Los Angeles, California

sun vallye 1

sun valley 2

Notable sustainable features: 

  1. Concrete Masonry reduces energy requirements
  2. Extensive daylighting
  3. On-water management system
  4. Site selection and building orientation reduces energy requirements

5. Elk River Library – Elk River, Minnesota

elk outside


Notable sustainable features: 

  • Landscape design significantly reduces water usage
  • Recycled building materials
  • Highly efficient heating, cooling, and ventilating systems 


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