The new LEED Gold certified Dover Public Library is a significant addition to the Delaware capital’s revitalized downtown historical district and its first green public building. It serves as a popular community destination and demonstration of sustainable design concepts, technologies, and materials. The city’s environmental priorities focused on natural landscaping, generous daylighting, building education, and healthy interior spaces. Atelier Ten provided integrated Environmental Design, Energy Analysis, Lighting Design, and LEED Program Administration services through a very collaborative relationship with the library and municipal officials, architects, and engineers. Prolonged by economic difficulties, the project took more than 5 years to complete, but ultimately achieved 36% energy cost savings, 62% potable water use reduction, and exceeded the LEED goals set in the original stakeholder workshops.
Our particular attention to daylighting quality helped guide the design of the south-facing main façade that blends with Dover’s historic architecture while conveying a message of inviting transparency. The northward façade opens up to bring abundant natural light into circulation and reading spaces. Extensive modeling enabled our team to advise the architects on sensible shading strategies and a daylight-responsive lighting system that enlivens the interiors. Careful selection of environmentally-preferable materials was an essential part of the green education program that utilizes Atelier Ten graphics to tell the sustainable design story of this successful facility. Our team was led by Director Mark Loeffler and project managed by Associate Marta Bouchard from the New Haven office.