Library Awarded Prestigious LEED® Silver Certification


CAMBRIDGE, MA – December 15, 2010 – The City of Cambridge announced that it has achieved a LEED® Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute for the Cambridge Public Library Project designed by William Rawn Associates and Ann Beha, Associate Architect for the Historical Restoration.  LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.  

This is the second city building to achieve Silver LEED certification this month as the City of Cambridge,  in a separate announcement, reported that the renovated War Memorial Recreation Center, designed by HMFH Architects, had also been awarded LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.  Information on both projects can be found at

The Cambridge Public Library, which reopened in November 2009, includes a striking new glass building of 76,700 square feet joined to the restored 27,200 square foot landmark, designed in 1887 by Van Brunt & Howe and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has capacity for over 275,000 books, 90 computer stations, reservable meeting rooms and a 220 seat auditorium. The project includes an underground parking garage with a 33,000 square foot green roof and the restored Joan Lorentz Park.

Key aspects of the project’s sustainable design approach include:

·         Re-use of an historic landmark:  At the heart of the project is the restoration of the City’s original Main Library (designed in 1887 by Van Brunt & Howe and listed on the National Register of Historic Places).

·         Main façade: The first of its type in the U.S., a double-skin curtainwall (180’ long, 35’ high, 3’ deep with adjustable louvers) opens the building to views of Joan Lorentz Park and allows for extensive daylighting and energy savings.

·         Open green space: The project includes a significant renovation of the 4-acre park surrounding the library. Parking is located underground – below a 33,000 sf green roof –  expanding the land available for the park while tripling the size of the library.

·         Stormwater management: A 350,000 gallon stormwater retention tank provides stormwater management for a 3-square mile section of the City surrounding the site.

“We were very honored to attain the prestigious LEED Silver certification for both the Cambridge Public Library and the renovated Cambridge War Memorial Recreation Center,” said City Manager Robert W. Healy.  “Both are dynamic additions to our public infrastructure that will provide untold benefits to our citizens for years to come.”

Photo: Walkway leading up to Cambridge Public Library. Photo by Bob Coe.


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