The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s newest branch, the Centennial Hills Library, which opened in January 2009, has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system was designed to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable buildings.
Forty-five points were awarded in five environmental categories including Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere; Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. A sixth category recognizes Innovation in Design.
The library’s exterior materials and their colors reflect the desert and the mountains surrounding the Las Vegas Valley. Glazing, stone, stucco and metal shade structures result in a modern building reflective of the desert environment. Interior materials include low maintenance terrazzo, recyclable carpet, eco-resin panels and linoleum countertops.
Natural daylighting reduces the need for electric lights through the daylight hours, reducing heat gain and cooling costs. The building envelope provides an efficient mechanical system working in harmony with other systems to maximize energy performance and efficiency. Other elements include an extensive recycling program, the use of exterior shading devices, water-efficient landscaping, high-performance glazing and automatic photocell-based controls. A separate room for photocopying, and paints and carpets with zero or low emissions improve the long-term indoor air quality of the building.
The Library District will be seeking LEED Gold Certification for the Windmill Library in the Valley’s southwest, scheduled to open in the spring of 2011.