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Construction Zone: Updated Library

Construction Zone: Updated Library

The Orchard School Library has received LEED gold certification. Orchard School, an elementary and middle school in northeastern San Jose, Calif., sought a sustainable facility to improve its outdated and crowded campus library, with the goals of housing a growing book collection, improving student access to technology, and educating students on green buildings and a sustainable future.

The library is situated at the heart of the campus and connects the elementary and middle schools. Inside, full-height glass brings natural light into the expanded 6,000-square-foot space. A wood screen defines the space and provides boundaries without compromising supervision. The renovated existing space now houses stacks for the 18,000-volume collection, along with a new technology lab for up to 36 students.

Sustainable savings include:

•More than 30 percent water-use reduction.

•The 240-kilowatt photovoltaic system produced 420,830 killowatt hours annually, which translates to more than 2.5 times of the building energy cost saving. Essentially, this building is more than a "net-zero" building; It is an "energy-positive" building.

•Reuse more than 95 percent of existing building floors, walls and roof, and more than 50 percent of existing interior non-structural elements.

•Diversion of more than 95 percent of construction waste from landfill.

•100 percent of wood products used are FSC-certified wood.

•More than 76 percent of regularly occupied area with access to daylight.

•Low-emitting materials were used throughout project.

The library was designed by HMC Architects (San Jose).

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