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Environmentally Friendly Libraries (The Best of Book Riot)

Much of the good ship Book Riot is off at Book Expo America this week, so we’re running some of our best stuff from the first half of 2013. We’ll be back with reports from BEA next week and our usual array of new book-nerdery.


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.


Category ID: 3288

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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