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Christa McAuliffe Branch Library Designed by Finegold Alexander Architects Receives LEED Silver Certification

Christa McAuliffe Branch Library is granted LEED Silver Certification. Photo by Gustav Holland. Multimedia Gallery URL


Finegold Alexander Architects (FAA) and the Town of Framingham proudly announce the new Christa McAuliffe branch library in Framingham has received LEED Silver Certification. Named for Framingham native lay astronaut/teacher Christa McAuliffe, who died in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion, the newly opened 17,000-SF branch embraces contemporary sustainable design. LEED-certified buildings achieve quantifiable energy efficiency, cost-savings, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Standards for certification are established by the United States Green Building Council.

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“The design team approached the project holistically to create a beautiful, functional, and sustainable library that reflects the spirit of McAuliffe. The building features a soaring wing-shaped roof lifting over the main reading areas,” said Ruth Winett, Library Trustee and President, Framingham Public Library Foundation. “The contemporary interiors capture elements inspired by space travel, including 5,200-SF of windows, maximizing natural light, a key feature of the sustainable measures.”

“Sustainability was considered from aspirational and technical perspectives with sensitivity to initial and future costs,” said Tony Hsiao, Principal, Director of Design, Finegold Alexander Architects, “The windows are a design element, while providing natural daylight to offset energy demands. The roof is set up for photovoltaics when funds become available in the future.”

Features include a main adult reading room, dedicated children’s library, 50-person capacity meeting room, 21 Internet-enabled computer-stations, two study rooms, and on-site parking. In addition, the library is located at the high point of its natural wooded site offering a garden area connected to the Minuteman Bikeway.

Key sustainable design elements include the following:

  • 21% Reduction of overall energy use
  • 26% reduction in potable water use via water-efficient landscaping
  • 78% of regularly occupied areas provide natural daylight
  • 49% of site is open space without including off-site reserve
  • 90% of storm water runoff from average annual rainfall is captured and treated, includes a detention/infiltration system to reduce quantity and improve quality of runoff
  • 94% of construction waste was diverted from landfill
  • 97% of wood value is FSC Certified
  • Alternative Transportation-Public Transportation Access, easy access to bus stop
  • Walkable distance to school, restaurants, retail, senior center, and community services, and near a future "rail trail" for biking and walking
  • Green Housekeeping Program

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to certify buildings as meeting a specific set of standards for green building.

Framingham Public Library Foundation www.fplf.org.

About Finegold Alexander Architects

We create imaginative, inspired and transformative architecture. Architecture established by a collective sense of what is possible. Architecture built on client and community needs and values. Architecture derived from a comprehensive knowledge founded on 50 years of experience. We thrive on the complex. We seek exciting and innovative solutions. We delight in the recognition that something worthwhile has been created. We listen. Our buildings speak.

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