South Jamaica Branch Library
The South Jamaica Branch Library in Queens, NY,was the first building designed and constructed under the New York City HighPerformance Building Guidelines. The 2-story, 13,800 square-foot facilityemploys both passive and active features to reduce its energy requirements.The building is an integrated design in which its shell andeach of its systems operate together to achieve enhanced conditions for theusers; while minimizing the demands made on the natural environment for energyand other resources, both for building construction and operation. The interiorqualities – light, temperature, air quality, spatial richness and variety –result from the dynamic interactions between the building and the naturalenvironment. The exterior form is a direct translation of the building’sprogram and larger environmental considerations.The library reduces the embodied energy and embodiedpollution through the use of low energy and recycled materials and providesenhanced indoor environmental quality through the use of chemically andphysically stable materials and special filtration systems. The saw-tooth shape of its roof not only introduces sunlightinto the main reading room, but also promotes hot air stratification,concentrating at the peaks. The building has two return/exhaust air systems;one collecting air at the peaks and one collecting air near the floor.  In the winter, the hot air from the peaks isrecirculated throughout the building, its heat being stored in the slabs andmasonry walls.  Exhaust air is taken fromthe cooler air near the floor.  In thesummer, the hot air from the peaks is exhausted and the cooler air isrecirculated.   The deep roof profile required by the solar collectionstrategy suggested the use of efficient, light long-span trusses, reducing theamount of material in the roof and columns. It also produced a column-free main floor that can be easily adapted tochanging program needs.The building established goals to consume significantly lessenergy than that allowed by the NYS Energy Code: 48% less for lighting; 62%less for heating; and 34% less for cooling. Actual meter readings after twoyears of operation demonstrate that the building has out-performed these goals:by 30% for heating and 50% for electrical (lighting & cooling). The library received the Earth Day Top Ten Award from the American Institute of Architects for sustainable design in the year 2000.
South Jamaica Branch Library
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South Jamaica Branch Library

The South Jamaica Branch Library in Queens, NY, was the first building designed and constructed under the New York City High Performance Building Read More
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