The William H. Hannon Library is more than LMU’s newest and most striking architectural landmark—it was also recently awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council in recognition of its sustainable design.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED buildings, are designed and constructed to be sustainable. Water efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design are all measured in a detailed points system that rate buildings as LEED Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Qualifying for a LEED rating was a key objective when the library was planned and built. The architecture, interiors and landscaping around the library were all designed to achieve LEED certification. “Design features, construction methods and materials were all used strategically,” said Kristine Brancolini, dean of university libraries.
For instance, Brancolini noted the ample use of natural light in the library, from the skylight above its three-story atrium to the floor-to-ceiling tinted glass windows that take advantage of the spectacular Pacific Ocean views while holding down interior temperatures. Even the lights inside the library adjust their brightness automatically based on how much daylight in the space.
Yet the attention to sustainability didn’t detract from the library’s aesthetics. “We have a nice mix of a modern look and a cozy atmosphere,” Brancolini said. “It’s surprising to many people that a sustainably built building can be so attractive.”
LMU has other LEED-certified buildings, but the library is the first to receive a Gold rating. Al Tipon, director of the university’s Facilities Administration, said that constructing sustainable buildings at LMU fits with the university’s mission, and with the surrounding community. “I think the culture of L.A. is headed toward a more sustainable environment,” he said.