The Brookline Library Renovation 2003/2004

The New Brookline Library - Architects Rendering

The Brookline Library was chosen to be renovated using environmentally friendly (green) principles. The library has many features built into the new framework that are both environmentally sound and safe. The results were quite extraordinary.

<Learn More About Brookline's "Green" Library>

<See Photos of the Grand Re-Opening>

<The Library Facade - Before and After Construction>

Library Reconstruction Photos

A view from the rear of the building
where the wall has been replaced by
windows. A fire escape and protective
metal grating was installed as well.  A children's room was added.

The children's room.  Windows, windows, everywhere.
This is a view from the front room
looking back towards the stairwell
and the front door.

Another view of the stairwell,
 ceiling feature, and windows in the front.  Looking towards the rear of
 the adult non-fiction area.

A facade facelift.  Coming soon: a big colorful
Carnegie Library logo over the
door and theater like marquee.

New Library Model  New Library Model

Brookline's Green Library - LEED Certified

Collage of the upper level of the new Brookline Library.

A Model of Environmental Efficiency

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has chosen to use the U.S. Green Building Council's leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system as part of its effort to renovate and modernize Brookline's new library.

Green uses techniques to minimize energy usage and destruction to the environment, as well as create safe, comfortable buildings for all guests.

Collage of the lower childrens level of the new Brookline Library.

LEED puts a premium on constructing buildings with superior interior air quality, access to views, daylight and natural ventilation. The library's bay of windows, the skylights and the light wall contribute to the overall design. They are clear elements of this green library. These are just a few of the green features.

Other examples of the rating system are hidden to the untrained eye. Some are hidden from view. Below are some examples of the green principles in practice here in our new library.

1. The Light Wall

One of the most dramatic features of the new library is a light wall. The light wall is a type of skylight that we used to bring the natural light into both levels of the library. The light is reflected downward based on the shape or angle of the wall.

The Lightwall.

2. Clerestory Windows

Skylights and bays of windows support "green" design principles and dramatically change the character of the space.

There are many windows in the new libary.

3. Refurbished Shelving

Take a closer look at the shelving units shown here. In terms of recycling, these are the very same units from the old library. They were cleaned up, painted, and re-used.

4. Parklex and Slatescape

The parklex (the outside) and the slatescape (tops of counters) both provide no negative impact on the environment and are made out of materials that do not emit any poisonous gasses.

5. Tree Conservation

The maple interior wood is highly recyclable material; the inside is very compacted sawdust, the outside is thin hardwood. This dramatically cuts down on the amount of raw timber in use. Both environmentally sound and safe.

6. Sound Baffling

Insulation for sound in both the lower level and ground floor is "spray on paper" which replaces asbestos. "Spray on paper" is 100% recyclable.

7. The Ceiling

The wire mesh used in the ceiling is all steel, which is 25% recyclable.

8. Flexibility, Resilience and Durability

Both the linoleum floor and the community bulletin board are produced from renewable raw materials. The combination of oxidized linseed oil, resin, cork, natural wood fiber, and natural pigments in the product give it flexibility and resilience. These qualities result in a product with exceptional durability.

<See Photos of the Grand Re-Opening>

For more information on LEED, go to

<Building Brookline> <> <Brookline History>