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East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library Awarded Prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification

September 30, 2014

Boston Public Library

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Library

Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library earned LEED Gold certification.   Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the world's foremost certification program for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of green buildings.

“The City of Boston is committed to green design practices and eco-friendly development,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “By earning LEED Gold certification, the state-of-the art East Boston branch demonstrates how a successful architectural addition to a community can also be a sustainable one.”

The East Boston Branch, a 15,000 square foot building at 365 Bremen Street designed by William Rawn Associates Architects, Inc., opened in November 2013. The library building earned LEED certification for green design and construction in the areas of energy use, lighting, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. The City of Boston’s Property and Construction Management department managed this capital project. The East Boston Branch was funded by the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

The East Boston Branch features an open floor plan with dedicated areas for children, teens, and adults. The library overlooks scenic Bremen Street Park, complete with views of the Boston skyline from the library’s reading porch. The diversity of East Boston is signified and celebrated by stone pavers on the exterior of the Branch that show the name and distance to the capital cities of the top 21 countries of origin of the residents of East Boston. As part of the sustainable design of the library site, storm water from the roof and site is directed to three "learning gardens" along the side of the East Boston Branch. At each garden is an interpretive panel which tells visitors about the sustainable aspects of the Branch and the gardens.

“Learning starts the moment you step onto the library property in East Boston,” said Amy E. Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library. “From the beginning, this project strived to be an environmentally responsible community gathering place. It’s rewarding to have achieved LEED Gold certification for what is already such a cherished asset in the neighborhood.”

LEED certification of the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include: water conservation through storm water management, rainwater collection, underground recharge tanks, and low-flow bathroom fixtures; sustainably harvested and certified wood; underfloor ventilation and conditioning; a reflective roof; high-performance glass; daylight harvesting/dimming and occupancy sensors; 75 percent of construction waste was recycled; and use of low emitting materials and materials with recycled content.

“This building will not only have a long lasting impact on learning, but also on the City of Boston’s environmental footprint,” said Brian Swett, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open space. “Developing new municipal buildings in a sustainable way demonstrates the City’s commitment to building healthier buildings for our citizens and to reaching our goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020.”

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org