Cedar Rapids Public Library

A devastating flood gave Cedar Rapids the chance to rethink its main library. Located on Greene Square in the city’s core, the new, 95,000-square-foot Cedar Rapids Public Library delivers openness, transparency, and high-performance features through its incredibly contemporary design. The library’s collection spaces can be seen from every vantage point inside the building, thanks to its glass framing. Even the 200-seat lecture hall benefits from light and views via floor-to-ceiling vision electronically tintable dynamic SageGlass. But even more impressive are the library’s green features, from its geothermal HVAC system to its 24,000-square-foot green roof that doubles as a bonus public space for library patrons. The building was designed to LEED Platinum standards, and, according to operating data, is on track to hit its mark.

The light-filled lobby of the new library is meant to diverge noticeably from a typical library, featuring bold light panels and a coffee shop.

The light-filled lobby of the new library is meant to diverge noticeably from a typical library, featuring bold light panels and a coffee shop.

The original library consumed energy at a rate of 100 kBtu per square foot. The new building uses just 37 kBtu per square foot—a whopping 63% reduction.

The original library consumed energy at a rate of 100 kBtu per square foot. The new building uses just 37 kBtu per square foot—a whopping 63% reduction.

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