Lenexa LEEDs the Way

At Johnson County Library, environmental responsibility extends beyond the walls and impacts the community at large. Lenexa City Center Library is part of the Lenexa Civic Center Campus that is also certified under the US Green Building Council’s LEED™ Rating system. The new Library is 39,000 sq ft and made sustainable design and construction practices a priority early on to ensure the building was performing optimally and the occupants would have a healthy, welcoming environment. Here are some of the high performing features that were incorporated library on the Lenexa Civic Center Campus.

Lenexa City Center Library is located on a sustainable site that avoided environmentally sensitive areas. It is in close proximity to a host of businesses and community services, making it easier for the public to walk, ride a bike or take public transit. The Library parking structure encourages low-emitting, fuel-efficient vehicles and has preferred parking spaces for these drivers. To promote wildlife diversity, the Library was designed to ensure ample open space and integrated a high ratio of open space. The open green space around the building is not only enjoyable, it also lessens negative impacts of stormwater runoff. The surrounding site includes measures to increase infiltration to treat contaminants.

In a concerted effort to conserve potable water, low-flow plumbing fixtures were installed that are 40% more water efficient than conventional fixtures, which saves more than 125,128 gallons of water annually!   That’s almost 7,000 regular size swimming pools worth of water that is conserved.

Buildings are the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S. of all electricity produced nationwide according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Much of this energy is wasted due to inefficiencies and human behavior. Therefore, the Library went beyond the minimum energy requirements to optimize the energy performance of the building by more than 25% compared to a calculated baseline. A special reflective coating was added to the roof to minimize the heat island effect and better insulate the building. To reduce the head island effect on the exterior a light colored concrete was selected, as well as trees for shade. LED lighting is used throughout the Library with dimmable lighting a controls. Occupancy sensors ensure no energy is being wasted when spaces are not in use. An energy efficient HVAC system was also selected. Non-CFC based refrigerants were selected for their minimal effect on ozone depletion.

Materials and Resources are another critical component of LEED. During construction of the Library, construction waste was intentionally diverted from the landfill so that more than 75% of the total waste generated did not end up in a landfill. Building materials were prioritized that contained recycled content and sourced within 500 miles of the building. One example is the beautiful wood accent wall, made of wood reclaimed from three different barns in Missouri and Ohio. More than 30% of the building materials, such as windows, concrete and insulation were locally sourced.

People spend more than 90% of the time indoors, according to the U.S. EPA. It is for this reason that attention to the quality of the indoor environment was considered in the selection of building materials, daylighting design and thermal comfort conditions. Air quality is improved by designing systems to exceed the minimum ventilation performance required under ASHRAE 62.1. Monitoring devices were installed to ensure that CO2 levels were consistently maintained also help to promote comfort and well-being of occupants. Integrated walk-off entryway systems were used to trap dirt and particulates from entering the building.  

We encourage our visitors to learn more about the benefits of sustainable design and construction.  Johnson County Library is proud to pursue green building certification under the LEED Rating System to ensure that the healthy, resource efficient qualities incorporated by the library are recognized through third party certification. More information about LEED can be found at www.usgbc.org