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Design Consultant: 1100 Architect
Location: Queens
Client Agency: Queens Library

Overview: The CLDC is a 22,000 square foot, two-story addition to the existing Queens Central Library building. The building’s most striking exterior feature, a shining glass façade, is a beacon to the surrounding community, fundamental in increasing the library’s visibility and reintroducing it as a central cultural and social destination in the neighborhood.

Sustainable Features: The CLDC’s design inspiration came from the word “discovery,” a term used in the integrated natural science children’s exhibits and the multiple playful spaces of the center.  This word provided the inspiration for the crystal-like glowing box design of the façade, which incorporates four different types of glazing—transparent, opaque, translucent, and textured—to take advantage of natural light in the interior spaces.   The playfully-configured glazed structural curtain wall system optimizes energy efficiency through the inclusion of high-performance, insulated, glare-reducing glazing, reducing the burden on the heating and cooling systems.  Additionally, daylight sensors monitor the amount of incoming natural light and each fluorescent light is adjusted accordingly, helping to reduce energy consumption 17% annually

The library’s heating and cooling systems are uniquely energy efficient, designed to fluctuate based on human interaction and loads within the spaces.  The ventilation system supplies 20% more air than required by ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standards through a rooftop outside air economizer, utilized during the Autumn and Spring months.  This technology allows outdoor air to enter the building during the time period that the ambient air temperature is suitable for climate comfort inside the space.  Additionally, a new gas fired chiller and gas fired condensing boiler was installed for sustainability and energy cost reduction purposes.  To further improve efficiency, the building is warmed by radiant floor heating on the first and second floors public areas, which provides heat only to occupied spaces.

A children’s library is a perfect opportunity to showcase information about sustainable building design, and the “Green Education” graphics dispersed throughout the library do exactly that.  The plaques provide information on the building’s environmentally-focused features in a way that allows the children to “discover” the sustainable design techniques implemented and learn about the environmental impacts. For example, low-flow toilets were installed in the library, which use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush versus the traditional five-gallon toilets, and automatic sink faucets with sensors turn on only when required.  A plaque outside the bathrooms playfully explains these improvements to the children, illustrating how these water saving features are expected to save approximately 67,000 gallons per year and reduce usage by 36.5% from 1992 Energy Policy Act standards.

Noteworthy Accolades:

  • LEED-NC V2.2 Silver Pending
  • The Municipal Art Society of New York, MASterworks Awards: Best Neighborhood Catalyst, 2012.
  • NYC Department of Design and Construction, Design and Construction Excellence Program
  • Queens Chamber of Commerce, Building Awards: New Construction / Public Building, 2011.
  • Queens Library Foundation, Award for Excellence in Design, 2011.
  • Public Design Commission of the City of New York, Design Award, 2007.


1100 Architect 

Structural Engineer

Robert Silman Associates

MEP Engineer

Buro Happold Consulting Engineers

Environmental Consultant

Atelier Ten

Lighting Consultant

Atelier Ten 

Library Consultant

Lushington Associates

Cost Estimator

Stuart-Lynn Company; Davis Langdon Company


William Vitacco Associates

Exhibit Designer


Vertical Transport Systems


Geotechnical Engineer

Pillori Associates, P.A.

Civil Engineer

Matrix New World Engineering, Inc.

Commissioning Agent

Horizon Engineering Associates, LLP

Construction Manager

Hill International

Thematic Sculptural Iconography, Environmental Graphics, and Way Finding Signage

Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership


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Sustainable Site

Alternate transportation encouraged
Urban Heat Island Effect mitigated
Air pollution reduced during construction – preventing debris

GAF system with 'Energy Cap' for reflectance
Light colored paving material – gray concrete SRI 35
Native, drought-resistant plants
Urban setting near public transportation


Water Efficiency

Landscaping uses no potable water
Potable water use reduced 36.5% over 1992 Energy Policy Act
(saving 67,00 gallons/year)

Dual-flush water closets, low-flow lavatories and automatic faucets
Native adaptive plants requiring no permanent irrigation



Energy cost percentage reduced – 23.3% over baseline ASHRAE standard
Energy use reduced 23% of total energy cost over the ASHRAE/IESNA
Total site energy consumption reduced 17%
Source Energy Use Intensity – 125 kBtu/sf/yr
Site Energy Use Intensity – 52 kBtu/sf/yr
CO2 Emissions Reduction – 29%
Renewable Energy purchase of power from Green-E certified wind power turbines

Energy Performance Rating – 82
Exterior insulated envelope with high-performance glazing
Daylight dimming controls within the first floors south facing seating areas
Occupancy sensors in offices and other support areas
Heat Recovery - Enthalpy Wheel Heat Exchanger with 80% sensible and latent
recovery effectiveness
Hot Water Loop and Pumps - Secondary variable flow pumps with 30% minimum
turn down ratio
High efficiency lighting fixtures which exceed ASHRAE 90.1-2004 minimum

High performance vision glazing: Solarban 70XL double-glazed low-e
High-performance spandrel wall with R-20 rigid-board mineral wool insulation
Roof construction with R-30 Polyisocyanurate rigid insulation
Reflective membrane roofing with a solar reflectance value of 0.7
High-efficiency air-handling units with variable frequency drives in all supply
fans, return fans and enthalpy wheel
Enthalpy-wheel heat recovery in all air handling units
Radiant-slab heating in 1st and 2nd floor public areas
CO2 based demand control ventilation in high-occupancy library zones
Plate and frame heat exchanger for water-side economizer
High efficiency hot water boilers with 81% thermal efficiency • Variable speed
chilled and hot water loop pumps
Hot-water reset controls for boilers
Chilled-water reset controls for chillers


Material Conservation

Recycling and salvaging on site wastes to divert up to 85% of the projected
project waste from landfills
Recycled materials constitute over 10% of materials
Forest Stewardship Council wood products required

On-site recycling facilities
Construction and demolition waste sorted at off-site facility
FSC certified framing lumber, plywood, veneers and wood doors
Construction and demolition waste to be tracked and sorted at off-site recycling


Healthy Interiors

Optimized fresh air quantities
Extensive daylighting
Building systems and occupants protected from construction contamination
Reduced exposure to toxins, volatile organic compounds, urea formaldehyde

CO2 based demand control ventilation in high-occupancy library zones
Air quality management during construction required; flush-out before occupancy
Low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatins, composite wood and agrifiber
rating of at least MERV 8
Green Education


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