Last spring, Green Building Elements writer Philip Proefrock called attention to the fact that the building industry has, so far, been slow to marry sustainability with good design. (See his discussion of Green Architecture Versus Great Architecture.) But in the last several months, it has become increasingly common for LEED certification and other green building performance measures to move away from their headline status and be relegated to the footnotes. This shift is, in fact, a good thing, since it implies that a significant number of new construction projects are simply expected to incorporate sustainable features.
In September, the American Institute of Architects Montana chapter recognized the Bozeman Public Library with an Award of Merit. According to the jury, “With its grand civic spaces and filtered light, the building celebrates the act of reading. The building honors its context relating to both the town and rugged mountains beyond.” The library fulfills its function as a cultural and civic center for the town of Bozeman partly by leveraging architectural features, as high design has always done.
It has also been awarded LEED Silver certification. Green features include such now common items as:
- natural daylighting
- a photovoltaic electrical generation system
- water harvesting and reuse
- water-efficient plumbing
- the use of low-VOC and recycled materials, and
- the recycling of construction debris
For more on the merging of good design with green design, see:
- Alliance Between USGBC and AIA on Green Building Elements
- Perma Karpo Library: Good Green Design in the Himalayas on Inhabitat
Image courtesy of Parsons Public Relations