Monday, December 22, 2008

Iowa's Greenest Library Opens in Marshalltown

The new Marshalltown Public Library opened it's doors today. The $5.75 million dollar building will be Iowa's first LEED-certified library and claims the title of Iowa's Greenest Library.

The building includes 90 solar panels. The 15.75kW system makes the library the largest photovoltaic array in the state. The system would be large enough to power a large residential consumer or small farm, but only will provide a small percentage of the power to the 35,000 square foot building. However, there is room to install more solar panels in the future.

The decision to go green was made with the help of a grant from the Vision Iowa board...

While a sustainable building had been under discussion, the decision to do so was accelerated when a Vision Iowa Board member asked, “Are you building green?” The USGBC awards "green" points in broad categories of energy and atmosphere; indoor environmental quality; sustainable sites; materials, and resources; and water efficiency.

The new library is situated downtown on a “recycled” building site, previously used as a parking lot. Its location will permit pedestrian access. In addition to the donated heating and cooling units, the solar panel photovoltaic array will convert sunlight to electricity. Sunscreens and high-performance glazing on the large exterior windows will maximize sunlight and minimize the heat passing through the glass.

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