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February 24, 2018

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Library News Release

Release Date: 01/18/2005

Central Library project awarded silver rating from U.S. Green Building Council

The new Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., has received a Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for incorporating design elements that demonstrate environmental stewardship.

The Central Library is only the 43rd building in the nation to receive a Silver rating.

"The LEED Green Building Rating System is a comprehensive approach to building and to attain a Silver level certification is an impressive accomplishment," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC.

The USGBC promotes sustainable building practices and designs that create high performance buildings through energy savings, efficient use of water and materials and quality indoor environments. The council developed the LEED Rating System to quantify the sustainable elements included in a building project.

The city of Seattle is committed to designing sustainable elements into its building projects. The Library's design team and contractors incorporated many LEED elements into the Central Library. Key elements that contributed to making the design and long-term use of the building green and sustainable included: Having a sustainable site, incorporating water and energy efficiencies, recycling and using recycled materials, and promoting a quality indoor environment through design and materials. More details are provided below.

A sustainable site

  • Existing site reused
  • Located on major bus routes
  • Erosion and sedimentation controlled during construction
  • Bicycle racks provided
  • Lighting designed to reduce light pollution.


Water efficiency:

  • Plants selected require little water
  • All irrigation provided by rainwater collected from building's exterior and is stored in a 40,000-gallon tank
    ·Metered faucets reduce amount of interior water use
  • Building uses waterless urinals.


Energy efficiency:

  • Building designed to outperform Seattle energy code by 20 percent
  • Half the building's exterior glass is triple-glazed with an aluminum expanded metal mesh sandwiched between two planes to reduce heat buildup from sunlight
  • Computer-controlled air movement maximizes energy efficiencies
  • Control systems meter heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) systems, water usage and energy performance of the building.



  • Loading dock was designed with space to collect and store recyclables
  • Eighty-five percent of demolition and construction waste was recycled
  • Approximately 20 percent of the building products used in the Central Library were manufactured within 500 miles of Seattle, which helped the local economy and reduced the impacts of transporting materials long distances.


Indoor environmental quality:

  • The Central Library exceeds the industry standard for acceptable indoor air quality
  • An indoor construction air quality plan was devised to maintain high air quality during construction and prior to occupancy
  • Carpet materials selected emit low amounts of airborne contaminants.
  • Building design maximizes daylight and views from 90 percent of all regularly occupied spaces.


Visit the Central Library to see firsthand some of these sustainable elements. More detail on the green aspects of the Central Library can be found on the Library's Web site,

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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