Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Forest Public Library Gets Gold in Green

If you want to learn the latest about green construction and environmental sustainability, you don't have to travel far. A quick drive to the new Forest Public Library provides a lesson in green that's gold-certified.

The U.S. Green Building Council has declared Marion County's Forest Public Library (905 S. Highway 314A, Ocklawaha) LEED Gold certified. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation's pre-eminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings; gold is the second highest designation applicants can receive. The Forest Public Library is Marion County government's first LEED Gold certified building and the third Gold certified library in the state. Characteristics of the new Forest Public Library that comply with the LEED rating system's six major areas include: energy and environmentally efficient use of land, water, recycled materials and resources, indoor air quality and innovative design.

By using less energy and water, a LEED certified building saves money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduces greenhouse gas emissions; and contributes to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the community. The Forest Public Library achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as for incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies.

By constructing the building using LEED practices, the library reduced the development footprint, saved a projected 25 percent in energy costs and reduced water use by 41 percent compared to standard measures. Some additional green highlights include the use of recycled materials (denim jeans) for insulation, a recycled bike rack and preferred parking for energy-efficient vehicles (to promote less fuel consumption). The green planning also extended beyond the building to the driveway and parking areas, which were positioned away from surrounding wetlands. Water-efficient and native Florida plants provide eco-friendly landscaping that requires little to no irrigation.

-- News Release, Marion County Public Library System.

For more information contact Julie Sieg.

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