Lawrence Public Library | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: New Construction v3 - LEED 2009

Lawrence Public Library

707 Vermont St
Lawrence, KS 66044
United States

LEED Gold 2017

This addition to a 1970s library in the heart of downtown evolved from community dialog about siting, services, and community engagement from a service and experiential standpoint. The study identified the need to expand the facility by 20,000 square feet and renovate all existing space.

The $10.2 million library sits between the main street of downtown Kansas and a community pool. The library was popular with parents and young children but had begun to show its age, lacked daylight, had poor thermal performance, and poor wayfinding.

The design process for the expansion and renovation involved the study of trends, analysis of community outreach opportunities, and history of printed media. Ultimately, we realized that the library is a tool for the community that it serves: a tool for information gathering, social networking, and… yes, a place to read.

The design solution wraps all sides:

  1. Each elevation faces a different community constituency: neighborhoods to the west, the post office to the north, the downtown area to the east, and a new park to the south.
  2. By wrapping the library, a high-performance thermal envelope could be installed.
  3. The addition became a continuous reading space that harvests daylighting and takes advantage of views.

How it would integrate with the public was also addressed:

  1. Vehicular support: Provided by stacking technical support areas and connecting them vertically.
  2. Library service zones: The wood paneling system integrated all library services, from account support to meeting areas and auditorium spaces and improved wayfinding.
  3. Mobile service model: Organized around having staff out in community spaces.
  4. An automated sorter was tied to a new radio-frequency identification (RFID) system within the service zone. An RFID system may replace or supplement bar codes, offering a faster and smarter method of inventory management and self-service checkout

The community recognized growth of three main areas: youth services, technology access, and meeting/maker spaces. The new youth areas are organized around two main zones: a children’s zone and a teen zone, each with appropriately scaled technologies.

One of the other primary goals was to create a space that feels warm, open, and light-filled. A new central atrium was cut into the center of the original library, connecting the basement to the roof level, where a new clerestory was provided.

The project meets the 2030 Challenge with a 50 percent reduction in energy use over comparable building types in this region.

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Project details
66,252 sf
14 Jun 2017
Data Reporting
Energy Update
Water Update
Transportation Update
Waste Update
Human Experience Update

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