Long Beach Celebrates New LEED Silver Library

Last month, the City of Long Beach received the good news that the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library has earned LEED Silver certification. Replacing the old North Library built in the 1950’s, the new library is a state of the art 24,655 SF single story facility that includes reading and activity areas for children, teens, and adults, as well as three public community meeting spaces.  

In Balance Green Consulting was pleased to join the contractor team, Woodcliff Construction, to ensure compliance with construction phase LEED credits including: regional and recycled materials; low-emitting materials; construction waste diversion; and indoor air quality during and post-construction, among others.

The project took a few unexpected turns that resulted in lessons learned:

1)     Flexibility on design credits: Due to some budget decisions late in the design process, several points in the energy category were lost, jeopardizing a contractual requirement for LEED Silver. Often in publicly-bid projects, the shortfall is shifted to the contractor to make up, so they are left scrambling for expensive specialty materials. It’s a difficult situation, but that was the condition when In Balance and Woodcliff came on board.

After a few all-hands-on-deck discussions, the entire team was tasked with making up points. This team approach worked well since we could evaluate a broad range of design and construction phase credits, based on cost and benefit, to see which were most effective.

2)     Flush-out: Who would have guessed that the flush-out would be scheduled for the three weeks of the year with 90% humidity?! We needed every hour of time available to get the number of hours required. Don’t push the flush-out schedule too close to the grand opening, and be sure to have good data loggers.

Michelle Obama - North Branch - library.jpg

Photo credit: LPA

Congratulations to the project team! 

Architect: LPA

Construction Management: Varin

Contractor: Woodcliff Construction

LEED Construction Consultant: In Balance Green Consulting