Walpole Public Library achieves LEED Gold

The new Walpole Public Library surpassed its original plan for achieving LEED Silver and has recently been awarded LEED Gold certification. It is Walpole’s first LEED certified building and just one of a handful of libraries in Massachusetts achieving certification. The design of the building by LLB Architects makes use of both passive and active sustainable design strategies. "It’s a combination of everything," said Jim Johnson, Assistant Town Administrator in Walpole.

The incorporation of a green roof over the one-story wing creates a better insulated space for the program area. Natural light floods the interior spaces through the surrounding glazing and skylights and reduces the need for artificial lighting. Meticulously designed insulated walls, glazing systems, and highly efficient mechanical and electrical systems help reduce the total energy consumption of the building, resulting in 48% energy cost savings annually versus a traditional building. Plus, the use of a photovoltaic panel system generates over 5% of the building’s required energy source.

Educational signs are displayed throughout the Walpole Public Library to encourage the community to learn how the building contributes to a sustainable environment. A brief explanation of a sustainable strategy is supplemented with a library call number where patrons can find books with more information. "We built the building to be a lesson," Permanent Building Committee member and former library trustee David Wildnauer said. He added, "It’s exemplary that the first LEED certified building is a municipal building. If you’re going to set an example, the fact that the town is setting the example is wonderful."

The project was made possible in part from a construction grant by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Now, since attending LEED certification, the Walpole library is eligible to receive additional funding through the MBLC’s Green Library Incentive, an initiative that encourages libraries to incorporate sustainable design strategies into their projects.

Read more about the project and see images of the Walpole Public Library.