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LEED Certified Libraries of the County of Los Angeles Public Library

Sustainability and the Library

The County of Los Angeles is committed to greener spaces and environment. Explore each section to learn about the sustainable practices incorporated in our library buildings. In January 2007, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted rules to require that all new County buildings greater than 10,000 square feet and funded on or after February 15, 2007 be certified LEED Silver, Gold or Platinum.

What is LEED Certification?

LEED logo

LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. Achieving LEED certification demonstrates the building project as truly “green.” The LEED rating system, administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, is designed to promote design and construction practices that reduce the building’s negative environmental impacts. LEED certification, which includes a rigorous third-party commissioning process, offers four certification levels for new construction and major renovation projects – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Learn more about the LEED rating system on the U.S. Green Building Council website.

Topanga Library LEED Gold

LEED Gold Badge Topanga Library

Sustainable Sites

All materials have a “Solar Reflective Index (SRI)” which tells how much heat is sent back into the sky and how much is absorbed by the material. With a two story building, both the parking spaces and the library itself are protected from heat gain by the highly reflective roofing tiles. The areas that are exposed are either native ground cover or light colored concrete.

Water Efficiency

All of the plumbing fixtures in the building were selected to minimize the water required for any task. For example, the sinks use high-pressure, low-volume heads to allow for washing with less water. Even the irrigation system, which is using reclaimed water, is designed as an underground drip system, so that the water for the site planting is not lost to evaporation.

Energy & Atmosphere

Because of its location, the library was designed with a great deal of glass for views and natural lighting. To reduce the energy lost through the windows, the each complete cell is double pane high efficiency glass tinted to reflect unwanted infrared and ultra-violet light.

Materials & Resources

It is estimated that one-third of the waste generated in the United States is made up of construction waste and debris. Diversion means the waste does not go to the landfill. During construction, the library was built such that instead of the 50% recycling of construction waste required by code, 95% of the construction waste on this site was recycled instead of landfilled.

Indoor Environmental Quality

The ongoing cleaning and maintenance of the library can have a major impact on the Indoor Environmental Quality of the building. The standards for ongoing cleaning and maintenance of this building incorporate requirements to monitor, and reduce or eliminate chemicals that outgas or give off bothersome fumes or odors.

Innovation & Design

In order to encourage the development of renewable power sources, the Library has pre-purchased its power for the first two years of its operation from renewable sources. This includes solar, wind, hydro, etc.

LEED Libraries

Read more about the library's other LEED Buildings.