Green Features

  • Energy Efficiency

    Reducing energy consumption through efficient mechanical & lighting controls, will result in a 32% savings in energy use or an annual savings of approximately $13,234 in utility charges.

    The lighting system includes photo sensing technology and devices that automatically reduce the lighting levels in specific areas of the library where ample amounts of daylight are available.

    Photocells located near the perimeter of the building in Periodicals, Adult Collection, and Children where adjacent windows allow daylight to enter the space. As the lighting level increases in the space due to daylight, the lighting system dims the associated fixtures in that space to maintain the desired illumination in the space.

  • Things to Consider

    What is the difference between a renewable and a non-renewable energy source?
    How does the light coming into the building change over the course of a day?
    How does the light coming into the building change over the course of a year?

  • Did You Know?

    Energy is measured in kilowatt-hours, which is equal to 1,000 watts per hour. In Virginia, the two primary sources of energy are nuclear and coal-fired power plants.

  • Recycling

    While the Library underwent significant renovations and even doubled in size, more than 95% of the existing structure was left in place and more than 90% of the waste created during the expansion was recycled, reducing the amount of trash ending up at the County landfill.

  • Things to Consider

    Why is it good to send less trash to the landfill?
    Think about ways you can reduce trash by using fewer disposable items (example-paper plates and cups, plastic bags).

  • Did You Know?

    Trash in Henrico County goes to the County landfill on Springfield Road.

  • Building Materials

    Recycled building materials and rapidly renewable materials were used throughout the project to reduce its impact on the environment. Reusing building materials provides many social and environmental benefits, such as minimizing landfill waste and pollution and reducing the consumption of new resources.

    Much of the wood used in the project was harvested from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests, which are managed in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. These practices include selective harvesting, maintaining wildlife habitat, protecting soil and water quality and minimizing the use of harmful chemicals.

    Regionally manufactured building materials were used to reduce the environmental impact associated with transportation of products.

  • Things to Consider

    What are the benefits and challenges in using recycled materials?

    How does using locally made materials save transportation costs and the pollution associated with it?

    What factors may prevent using only local materials?

    What are some of the impacts that clear-cutting could have on the land and ecosystem?

  • Did You Know?

    Traditional forestry practices sometimes include clear-cutting, or cutting down every tree at the same time.

  • Transportation

    Alternative transportation is encouraged through preferred parking spaces for low-emitting fuel efficient vehicles (LE-FE). The parking lot offers 7 such preferred spaces. Using alternative transportation reduces the impacts of vehicle use on the environment, such as demand for gas and oil, air pollution from vehicle exhaust and stormwater pollution from parking lot runoff.

    To promote healthy commuting via bicycle or walking, a total of 10 secured bicycle storage spaces are located at the building entrance and shower has been installed for staff use. Biking or walking to work is a great way to stay healthy, save money and help the environment.

  • Things to Consider

    What are some different ways you could travel to work, school or elsewhere?

    What are some ways that driving in a vehicle impacts the environment?

  • Did You Know?

    The average commuter spends over $7500/year on commuting expenses?
    This includes the cost of gas, the wear and tear on your vehicle, maintenance on your vehicle and insurance.

  • A shower was installed to encourage employees to stay healthy by using alternative transportation such as biking or walking.

  • Water Efficiency

    The site has been designed to reduce water consumption by 42% due to high-efficiency fixtures installed in all restrooms. American's use an average of 80-100 gallons of water each day. Conserving water cannot only save water for future generations, but can save money, energy and the environment.

  • Things to Consider

    What other ways can you conserve water each day?
    How can you capture rainwater and what other ways can you reuse the rainwater around your house?

  • Did You Know?

    The source of drinking water (also called potable water) in Henrico County is the James River.

  • Indoor Air Quality

    Low- and no-emitting materials that contain no or low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were installed to ensure the highest quality of indoor air. Low VOC adhesives and sealants, paints, carpet systems and wood panel products are used throughout the building.

    A Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan was implemented during the renovation in order to protect construction workers and building occupants from health problems that arise from poor indoor air quality.

  • Things to Consider

    What are some common air contaminants that can be found inside any building, both natural and man-made?

    How does the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system help to keep the air clean?

  • Did You Know?

    VOCs are chemical gasses that are emitted from some products such as building materials, cleaning products and furnishings.


    The EPA has named indoor air pollution as one of the top 5 environmental risks to public health.

  • A highly efficient filtration system was used for the building's HVAC to improve indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality can negatively impact those suffering from asthma or allergies.

  • The building also prohibits smoking within 25 feet of any entry. This improves air quality within the building, as well as the immediate surrounding area.

  • BAS Systems

    Advanced building automation systems (BAS) were incorporated into the HVAC design of the building, allowing for better indoor environmental control without negatively impacting energy usage. This allows a wide variety of control strategies resulting in greater energy efficiency and occupant comfort.