AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

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Lake View Terrace Library

In this photograph, the building's south fa├žade frames the edge of the park. Building articulation, lightshelves, overhangs, and louvers mediate daylight in the library reading room while framing views of the maple trees of the park.
Photo credit: RMA Photography, Inc.


  • Location: Lake View Terrace, CA
  • Building type(s): Library, Other
  • New construction
  • 10,700 ft2 (994 m2)
  • Project scope: a single building
  • Suburban setting
  • Completed June 2003
  • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2/v.2.1--Level: Platinum (52 points)

Lake View Terrace Library is a branch library and multi-use facility for the City of Los Angeles. It is located in the San Fernando Valley within the Hansen Dam Recreation Area. The building program includes the library, a community room, an environmental display gallery, and an exterior courtyard.

The building plan responds to the desire expressed by the community to have a library that reflects the rancho tradition of the region, with interior spaces organized around an open central courtyard. A spacious main reading room stretches along the east-west axis and enjoys dramatic views of the park to the south.

Chosen as an AIA Top Ten Green Project for 2004. Submitted by Fields Devereaux Architects & Engineers, Los Angeles, CA. Additional project team members are listed on the "Process" screen.

Environmental Aspects

Public transit at the adjacent intersection provides convenient pedestrian access. Site stormwater runoff was reduced by 25% with landscaping features that include a series of radial bioswales that allow for efficient infiltration of rainwater. Over 75% of construction waste was diverted from landfills to local recycling facilities.

The Library's energy performance is over 40% more efficient than California standards. The building shell is high-mass concrete masonry units (CMU) with exterior insulation to allow night venting. Approximately 80% of the building is naturally ventilated with mechanically interlocked windows controlled by the building's energy management system. A building-integrated photovoltaic system shades the entry and roofs the community room, providing 15% of the building's energy. The design provides nearly 100% shading of glazing during operating hours. During a typical day, all public areas (93% of the building) achieve target lighting levels without artificial light. Daylight-dimming ballasts and occupancy sensors are used where appropriate.

The program called for a LEED(r) Platinum building as rated by the U.S. Green Building Council, and it is the first project of the city to attempt or achieve this level of certification.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned and occupied by City of Los Angeles, Local government
  • Typically occupied by 9 people, 40 hours per person per week; and 1,800 visitors per week, 2 hours per visitor per week

Building Programs

Indoor Spaces:

Other (45%), Office (25%), Public assembly (15%), Circulation (5%), Lobby/reception (5%), Restrooms (5%)

Outdoor Spaces:

Restored landscape (50%), Parking (20%), Patio/hardscape (15%), Drives/roadway (10%), Pedestrian/non-motorized vehicle path (5%)


Integrated team, Green framework, Simulation, Green specifications, Commissioning, Indigenous vegetation, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Efficient irrigation, Drought-tolerant landscaping, Massing and orientation, Insulation levels, Glazing, Passive solar, HVAC, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, On-site renewable electricity, Adaptable design, Durability, Benign materials, Recycled materials, Local materials, Certified wood, C&D waste management, Occupant recycling, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Ventilation effectiveness, Thermal comfort, Noise control, Low-emitting materials, Indoor air quality monitoring

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Last updated: 4/22/2004

Our thanks to the ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and to the U.S. Department of Energy, and to BuildingGreen, Inc. for hosting the submission and judging forms.

For more information about the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects, contact AIA/COTE. For help on how to use this Web site, contact .

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