Gain insights into today’s energy-saving, sustainability and space-usage trends from AIA’s 2018 library and education facility awards

by Brianna Crandall — April 18, 2018 — The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently announced its 2018 awards for library and education buildings, reflecting changes in how libraries are designed and used as well as trends in energy efficiency, sustainability and space usage for education facilities.

2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards

AIA and the American Library Association (ALA) are awarding six libraries with the 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards for excellence in architectural design. Award recipient projects were selected by a six-member jury.

Laurel Branch Library, Largo, Maryland | Grimm + Parker Architects. Image courtesy AIA

Traditional roles of libraries are evolving. Today, libraries are designed with larger gathering spaces to support the needs of the community and many include sustainable features to conserve water or energy. Both of these trends are reflected by this year’s AIA/ALA Library Building Award recipients.

Highlights of the features of this year’s recipients include:

  • Natural daylighting
  • A 373,000-gallon cistern to capture roof rainwater and HVAC condensate, which provides water for restrooms as well as irrigation for landscaping and a vegetated roof (in water-scarce Texas)
  • LEED Gold certification
  • A reconfiguration to help meet 21st century standards for technology and programming, improve energy efficiency, and meet all life safety requirements
  • Remodeling to accommodate 2,900 square feet of flexible makerspace
  • Relocation of the main entrance to eliminate the need for steps, improve thermal performance, and provide a dynamic new face for the library
  • A new 150-person sub-dividable community room with a warming kitchen, and an outdoor patio
  • A replica paleontological dig site in the floor of the children’s area and public art pieces by local artists in other spaces
  • The grounds as a living laboratory for stormwater management and local ecosystems, with native drought-resistant plants
  • LEED Platinum certification
  • Daylight harvesting and passive shading, skylights and a carved ceiling to help maximize light; deep overhangs and canopies to protect glass from direct sun and eliminate the need for interior shades
  • Rainwater harvesting system used to flush the library’s toilets
  • Creating a destination that actively contributes to the city’s renewal
  • Activating the exterior spaces, simplifying patron entry, and dramatically increasing parking availability through a parking garage with an enclosed link to the library
  • Addition of a 88,000-square-foot garage while reducing the overall impervious surfaces on the site, alleviating stormwater runoff
  • New cast stone panels, refurbished public art, and a thorough cleaning
  • A mix of spaces where up to 140 people can meet and collaborate
  • A plaza featuring pervious pavers and ample seating surrounded by vegetation
  • A café and outdoor spaces providing seating for more than 400 people, providing regular meeting space before library hours begin

2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards recipients:

  • Austin Central Library, Austin, Texas | Lake Flato + Shepley Bulfinch
  • Eastham Public Library, Eastham, Massachusetts | Oudens Ello Architecture
  • Hastings Public Library Renovation/Addition, Hastings, Nebraska | The Clark Enersen Partners
  • Laurel Branch Library, Largo, Maryland | Grimm + Parker Architects
  • Pico Branch Library, Santa Monica, California | Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc.
  • Tulsa City-County Central Library, Tulsa, Oklahoma | MSR Design

Photos and more details about 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards recipients are available on the AIA website.

2018 CAE Education Facility Design Awards

AIA’s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) is recognizing 10 projects with its Education Facility Design Awards for state-of-the-art designs of schools and learning centers. This year’s jury selected eight facilities for its Awards of Excellence and two projects for its Awards of Merit.

The Frick Environmental Center, Pittsburgh | Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Image courtesy AIA

In order to be eligible for the Awards of Excellence, the architect must demonstrate exemplary practice and the design must meet a host of criteria, including enhancing learning in classrooms; balancing function with aesthetics; establishing a connection with the environment; being respectful of the surrounding community; demonstrating high-level planning in the design process; and integrating sustainability in a holistic fashion.

A few highlights of the features of this year’s recipients include:

  • A sustainable campus design featuring full-cycle water recycling, net positive energy production and zero waste operations in an immersive living and learning environment
  • Remote parking with solar photovoltaic (PV) canopies
  • A 350-seat amphitheater and a multi-functional “mosaic” landscape that includes raingardens, a natural treatment wetland, agriculture and orchards interwoven with forests and meadows
  • A highly flexible, 24/7 learning environment of intersecting spaces designed for interpreting and making visual media
  • Exhibition and presentation spaces where multimedia students can share their work.
  • Bulk project storage and a 27,000-sf flexible multi-disciplinary project space
  • A large common area with WiFi-enabled lounge areas, chalkboard walls and presentation areas
  • LEED Gold certification goal, with 31% total site energy use intensity reduction, 10% total lighting power density reduction, 55% total fixtures, potable water reduction, and 70% total landscape, potable water use reduction
  • Use of a large and recently renovated Sears distribution center that sat empty and decaying for 17 years, for a new training space
  • A faith-based building helping transform one of the most ethnically diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods in Memphis
  • An innovation lab for Harvard students wishing to start or expand entrepreneurial ventures in an IP-free zone, with a fully-equipped wet-lab environment and resources needed to take their ventures to the next stage of development
  • The use of off-site construction to shorten construction time and reduce the impact of site activity including noise, dust, deliveries, and on-site waste
  • LEED Platinum certification, and pursuit of certification by the rigorous Living Building Challenge
  • Conference room, brainstorming area, exhibition space, study room, café, and other facilities located on a shared public level sandwiched in between every two research centers
  • Green walls that will extend up to 60 meters high
  • A music building with every performance and rehearsal space acoustically tuned and tunable
  • Innovative forms and materials that maximize daylight within an energy-efficient building
  • A high-performance digital solution for a music building that enhances the space by unifying acoustics, lighting, and life-safety requirements

Awards of Excellence were bestowed upon the following:

  • Chatham University Eden Hall Campus, Richland Township, Pennsylvania | Mithun
  • Haverford College Visual Culture, Arts, and Media Building, Haverford, Pennsylvania | MSR Design
  • Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre (KTTC), Peterborough, Ontario, Canada | Perkins+Will Canada Inc.
  • Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR), Memphis, Tennessee | archimania
  • Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab, Allston, Massachusetts | Shepley Bulfinch
  • The Frick Environmental Center, Pittsburgh | Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • Tsinghua Ocean Center, Shenzhen, China | Open Architecture
  • University of Iowa Voxman Music Building, Iowa City | LMN Architects

Projects selected for the Awards of Merit are recognized for being of superior quality. This year’s recipients include:

  • Arlington Elementary School, Tacoma, Washington | Mahlum
  • Ballet Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee | archimania

Photos and complete details about 2018 Education Facility Design Awards recipients are available on the AIA website.