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LEED Certified Libraries of the County of Los Angeles Public Library

Sustainability and the Library

The County of Los Angeles is committed to greener spaces and environment. Explore each section to learn about the sustainable practices incorporated in our library buildings. In January 2007, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted rules to require that all new County buildings greater than 10,000 square feet and funded on or after February 15, 2007 be certified LEED Silver, Gold or Platinum.

What is LEED Certification?

LEED logo

LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. Achieving LEED certification demonstrates the building project as truly “green.” The LEED rating system, administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, is designed to promote design and construction practices that reduce the building’s negative environmental impacts. LEED certification, which includes a rigorous third-party commissioning process, offers four certification levels for new construction and major renovation projects – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Learn more about the LEED rating system on the U.S. Green Building Council website.

South Whittier Library LEED Platinum

LEED Platinum Badge South Whittier Library

Sustainable Sites

  • Minimizes the "heat island" effect with light-colored paving and roofing
  • Incentivizes carpools and low-emission vehicles through preferential parking
  • Incentivizes alternative transportation choices such as cycling by providing a large number of illuminated bicycle parking racks and bicycle lockers.
  • Increases site permeability and on-site rainwater retention in order to recharge groundwater and reduce demand on municipal stormwater treatment facilities

Water Efficiency

  • Consumes approximately 37% less water than conventionally-designed libraries of similar size through the use of low consumption toilets, low flow urinals, and auto shutoff lavatories
  • Reduces irrigation needs through drought tolerant and native species planting, reducing irrigation water consumption by approximately 70%

Energy & Atmosphere

  • Consumes 46% less energy than conventionally-designed libraries of similar size
  • Photovoltaic (solar panel) system offsets approximately 27% of the annual electrical cost of the building
  • Harvests daylighting while reducing glare and solar heat gain with exterior overhangs and fins, high performance glazing, tubular skylights, and automated interior window shades. Interior electrical lighting consumption is reduced by approximately 38%.
  • Glazing that is not protected from solar heat gain by overhangs and/or fins is provided with honeycomb inserts that shade the interior.
  • Dimmable lighting fixtures with programmable lighting controls maintain interior light at a consistent level.
  • Exterior walls are waterproofed by a breathable air barrier that minimizes heating and cooling loss while allowing water vapor and moisture to escape.
  • Exterior walls are insulated with rigid insulation boards that minimize thermal bridging
  • Avoids 38,871 lbs. of CO2 Emissions per year through efficient energy design

Materials & Resources

  • Uses regionally available materials and finishes with recycled content and minimal off-gassing throughout the interior and exterior of building.
  • Employs sustainably harvested wood products
  • Excess exterior panel trimmings are up-cycled to create an exterior shading trellis in the outdoor reading courtyard.
  • The exterior panel decorative pattern is designed to minimize waste by establishing a rigorous dimensional grid derived from the standard panel size, then using only colored panels where the grid varies.
  • Diverted and recycled over 97% of the demolition/construction waste reducing burden on the landfill

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Extensive natural light and views to exterior courtyard and landscaping, connecting inside to outside
  • Walk-off mats keep dirt and particles out of the building
  • 100% "rain screen" exterior cladding, minimizing moisture intrusion and interior mold / fungus.

LEED Libraries

Read more about the library's other LEED Buildings.