By Anca Gagiuc
Finegold Alexander Architects (FAA) and the Town of Framingham announced that the Christa McAuliffe Branch Library has been awarded Silver LEED certification. The facility is the town’s first building to receive the LEED award.
“The Town of Framingham will receive an additional $104,664 from the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program because the McAuliffe project achieved LEED certification,” explained Ruth Winett, trustee & president of the Framingham Public Library Foundation. The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program funded 49 percent of the cost of the $8.6 million project. The Town funded 44 percent of the cost, and donations to the Framingham Public Library Foundation funded 7 percent of the cost, Winett reported.
The property features a main adult reading room, dedicated children’s library, 50-person capacity meeting room, 21 computers connected to the internet, two study rooms and on-site parking. In addition, the library is situated at the highest point of its wooded site, offering a garden area connected to the Minuteman Bikeway.
The sustainable design elements include 21 percent reduction of overall energy use; 26 percent reduction in potable water use via water-efficient landscaping; 78 percent of the regularly occupied areas provide natural daylight; 49 percent of site is open space (excluding the off-site reserve); 90 percent of storm water runoff is captured and treated, and includes a detention/infiltration system to reduce quantity and improve quality of runoff; 94 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill; 97 percent of wood value is FSC certified; green housekeeping program. The library offers alternative/public transportation with easy access to bus stop and is located within walking distance to school, restaurants, retail venues, senior center and community services. A future “rail trail” for biking and walking is also close by.
“The design team approached the project holistically to create a beautiful, functional, and sustainable library that reflects the spirit of McAuliffe. The building features a soaring wing-shaped roof lifting over the main reading areas,” Ruth Winett said in a prepared statement. “The contemporary interiors capture elements inspired by space travel, including 5,200-SF of windows, maximizing natural light, a key feature of the sustainable measures.”
“Sustainability was considered from aspirational and technical perspectives with sensitivity to initial and future costs,” added Tony Hsiao, principal & director of design, Finegold Alexander Architects. “The windows are a design element, while providing natural daylight to offset energy demands. The roof is set up for photovoltaics when funds become available in the future.”
Photo by Gustav Holland