What are the green features of the building and site?
There are two sets of environmentally sound building features at the new Felton branch. The first are the energy conservation aspects. These include heat loss and gain using high insulation levels in the walls and roof and glazing systems that have low heat loss but also control the amount of sun heat streaming in. This sun control in the windows varies depending on the direction they face. There are also high and low opening windows that provide ventilation and naturally remove heat from inside when the temperature becomes too high. The lighting is all LED of course. Although it hasn’t yet been installed due to budget the building is set up for a solar electric system with a big south-facing roof, electric heat pumps for heating and cooling and proper configuration of the electric panels to accommodate the system. The electric car charger will also benefit from the solar electric system. The second set of environmentally sound features are in the site development. The parking lot is composed of permeable concrete that allows water from precipitation to pass directly through thereby reducing runoff and allowing groundwater recharge. The building is located to minimize impact on Bull Creek, both on the creek’s water flow and the creatures and plants that live in it. Replacing the original culvert with a bridge improved the habitat for various creek dwellers including resident rainbow trout and Pacific treefrog. Having a septic system with a leach field that is around the corner keeps the library from degrading the groundwater. The project’s necessary disruption of the riparian planting was mitigated by planting several new native plants for each one that was removed. The project controls the release of rain water to keep it from overloading the creek.