“Library in the Woods”

The Fairplay Public Library in Douglas County Georgia is about to break ground, it will be a brand new library, not just a new library building, but a new library – in a previously unserved area. Very exciting.

The concept for the 15,800-square foot Fairplay Library is to nest among the trees and natural surroundings of the 900-acre Dog River property. The property borders the Dog River Reservoir, the major drinking water source for Douglas County, and the vast majority of the site will be kept in its pristine state to serve as a future passive park and to help protect the water supply. The new library will be on the property’s western side with direct access from Georgia Highway 5. However, the library site will be approximately 1,200 feet into the property in a peaceful and serene setting.

The “library in the woods” concept was proposed by the project’s architects, Ponder & Ponder, Architects, of Norcross, so that the new building would co-exist with the natural surroundings and not interfere with the natural protected setting. The parking lot will be woven between existing trees, and existing topography will be used as much as possible. Native plants will be used in portions of the landscape to eliminate the need for irrigation systems, and rainwater will be captured and used as water features around the building. The outside of the library will complement the natural setting, using stone, wood and other natural elements for the exterior surfaces.

-From a press release issued by Douglas County, GA

The design is aiming for LEED certification and will include:

  • daylight harvesting
  • high-efficiency insulated windows
  • high-efficiency light bulbs
  • high-efficiency HVAC units
  • low water use fixtures
  • insulation for the building is almost double the minimum standard requirement
  • the roof will be heat reflective
  • low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint and stain will be used
  • solar shading will be over the windows
  • building is physically oriented northwest-southeast to utilize the light, but not receive the heat

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