Ontario Construction News staff writer
An addition at a branch of the Hamilton Public Library has earned a LEED Gold Certification.
“This LEED Gold Certification signifies thoughtful environmental, social, technological and education integration and really sets the stage for future library spaces,” said Paul Takala, chief librarian and CEO at Hamilton Public Library.
The Valley Park branch opened in the 1980s, and a 26,500-sq. ft. library expansion included extensive upgrades within the facility to make it more sustainable.
“Library design is one of our passions, perhaps because they have such potential for social, economic, and environmental impact within our communities; pillars of what sustainability means within our work,” said Drew Hauser, director of design and business development at mcCallumSather. “One of the most exciting elements of library design is how we can use these community spaces as an educational tool demonstrating sustainable design leadership within their communities as we all strive for a Net Zero Carbon community by 2050.”
Construction was completed in 2022. Work included transforming the public face of the Community Centre and is designed to cut the facility’s carbon footprint in half.
The building envelope, systems and site work together to drive down energy demand in the facility, and together with a 30 KW solar system incorporated on its roof contributes to 25% of the library’s expected demand.
Stormwater captured on the roof is now directed to the planted bioswales where it travels along the contours of the property to maximize infiltration to the local aquifer. The water will fuel the growth of vegetation on-site to remediate soils or efficiently flow off-site. These stormwater management techniques help with mitigating negative environmental stresses including the effects of stormwater surges on existing infrastructure and the poor quality of urban outflow.
“The team worked together to bring about a community space that reflects the needs of this growing neighbourhood,” Takala said.
LEED certification projects earn points for green building strategies across several categories, aspects of design that are vigorously measured and verified through design, construction, and post construction. As the second highest ranking a project can achieve, LEED Gold Certification is a significant accomplishment and proof of Hamilton Public Library’s commitment to sustainability.