Shipping Containers are Clever

Buildings made out of shipping containers? Yep. I’m in love with this idea, here are two library examples:

BiebBus (via GreenDiary):

BiebBus is a mobile library that has been specifically built to squeeze in narrow streets and to attract children and consequently inculcate the value of reading in them.

BiebBus is actually a shipping container that can pop-up and create two levels in the library. The lower level houses all the books and even though it looks like a tight fit, 20 people can stand around the 100 meter book shelf that is home to over 7000 books. The upper level is where children can sit, and read the books. To make it fun, the floor is made of glass – not just simple glass, but a a sort of magnifying glass which makes the kid look bigger. There are huge windows on the upper level so that there is enough natural light and the inquisitive ones can look outside. Cool lights and bean-bags complete the “reading-space”. 35-40 children can sit comfortably and lost themselves in the written word.”

The Contertainer (via Inhabitat):

“The Contertainer is a poly-clinic and public library designed by Indonesian firm, dpavilion architects, that repurposes these adventurous vessels to house books, which serve as “windows” to the world at large. The name for the health clinic and public libraryis an amalgam of two words: container and entertainer, which reflects its goal of providing a better quality of living for those who have little money.”


Integrated Building Design Article in LJ

Super excited that my article about Integrated Building Design (IBD), “A Whole Systems Approach: Integrated Building Design,” is in the current issue of Library Journal!!

Rebecca T. Miller, Executive Editor @LJ, had asked me to write this article last year after the LJ Design Institute in South Carolina. I had insisted on asking the panels I moderated about IBD and got a mixed bag of responses from panelists but Rebecca was interested in hearing more.

Writing the article gave me an excellent excuse to talk to some amazing people:

-Victor Canseco, LEED AP and Principal at Sandpebble Builders, Inc. from Southampton, NY: Victor is passionate in an old school way about integrated building design. Speaking with a builder was fantastic as I usually don’t get face time with that side of a project. He really drove home how feasible IBD is and how smart it is for publicly funded projects. Plus I think he’s a pretty fabulous human being as well so there’s that…looking forward to presenting with Victor and his colleagues at the 2011 New York Library Association Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY!

-Amanda Aspenson, LEED AP and Designer with Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. out of Minneapolis, MN let me talk her ear off! We totally geeked out about IBD and I so appreciated her energy and enthusiasm around the topic. Amanda worked on the IPD Case Studies document cited in the article which I think is inspiring and really gives one the sense that IBD is doable for libraries of all shapes and sizes. Big thank you to Mr. Jeffrey Scherer, founding principal at MSR for connecting me with Amanda! *(P.S. Looking forward to presenting with Jeffrey at the PLA & ALA Conferences in 2012!! More on that soon!)

-Rick McCarthy, a principal architect with PSA-Dewberry, based in Elgin, IL, is not only a library architect but a library trustee which brings a really special angle to the conversation of stakeholder intersections. Rick’s long standing support of sustainably designed buildings is another stroke of luck for me in writing this article.

-David Moore, senior project architect at McMillan Pazdan Smith, based in Greenville, SC was the first person I interviewed and probably one of the most pragmatic people I’ve met. His real world wrangling of library projects with a host of complications and fairly fantastic outcomes was very useful to draw on as I got started writing the article.

I’m relieved the article is finally out there. I can’t wait to hear the feedback. I’m hoping a few brave souls out there give IBD a try for their projects. If there is anyone out there who wants to talk more about this just let me know, I’m very intrigued by the potential of IBD (if you haven’t already picked up on that…) and excited to see some libraries give it a go!

“13 Amazing Facts About Green Roofs” [The Daily Green]

13 Amazing Facts About Green Roofs: Green roofs and living walls offer many benefits, including cooling buildings, reducing stormwater runoff, providing wildlife habitat, growing food and creating jobs.

Greening Presentation for Onondaga County Public Library 5.7.10

Ann Arbor District Library (MI)

Josie B. Parker of the Ann Arbor District Library in Michigan spoke at the PLA Conference last week about their commitment to sustainable building. Josie was a speaker I heard at PLA in 2004 that first lit the spark for me about the importance for public libraries to go green. She even graciously lent us her PowerPoint presentation she had done for my 2006 Green Libraries Program at the Mid-Hudson Library System: Going Green: Building a Sustainable Library This has become attributed to us but really it was Josie’s!

Green Policy

Here are two examples of a green policy. The first, from a public library, is a great example of trying to create a comprehensive approach to greening the institution. The second, from an academic library, is more like a mission statement to allow the organization to address the issue. Both give license to the leaders of the organization to pursue greening the library and allow them to promote a commitment to greening to their internal and external audiences.

  1. The Wells Branch Community Library
  2. Birkbeck Library @Birkbeck University of London

2030 Challenge

Keeping an eye on this as more and more state governments are legislating similar goals:

Here’s the gist of the Challenge:

“Architecture 2030 has issued The 2030 Challenge asking the global architecture and building community to adopt the following targets:

  • All new buildings, developments and major renovations shall be designed to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
  • At a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
  • The fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations shall be increased to:
    60% in 2010
    70% in 2015
    80% in 2020
    90% in 2025
    Carbon-neutral in 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate).

    These targets may be accomplished by implementing innovative sustainable design strategies, generating on-site renewable power and/or purchasing (20% maximum) renewable energy and/or certified renewable energy credits.”