On May 9, 2017, the Pohick Regional Library (6450 Sydenstricker Road, Burke, Va.) achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects are scored based on points earned in sustainable design categories. Certified buildings are resource efficient and less expensive to heat, cool, and maintain, and Fairfax County now has 11 LEED Gold certified public buildings in its inventory.
The $7.1 million project included the renovation of the 24,500 square-foot library to meet current design standards, serve an increased customer base, and reorganize the library's functions without expanding the building. The renovated library now includes more quiet study spaces and meeting rooms, and natural light illuminates the open atmosphere. The library has a new roof and windows, and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components were all upgraded. Site work included the construction of a new exterior canopy, ADA ramp and sidewalks to the new entrance, the implementation of a safer one-way traffic pattern, and an asphalt trail connecting the library to parkland was repaired.
Sustainable Design Highlights:
- The reflective roof keeps the building cool and reduces cooling costs
- Reduced-flush lavatories and flow-rate adjusted sinks reduce water usage
- High-efficient windows
- LED lighting and control system
- New heating and cooling system emits less carbon
- Use of low VOC emitting materials improves the interior air quality
- Eighty-seven percent of the construction waste was recycled
Pohick is the first library in the county's system to include a teen space in its design. The new teen space is brightly colored, with two large flat-screen monitors for gaming. A Wi-Fi bar serves patrons who bring their own electronic devices. Throughout the renovated building, space was created to allow people to work, share, collaborate, and have fun while maintaining the library's core values of reading and learning.
The project was funded by a citizen-approved bond referendum in 2012 and managed by the Capital Facilities Division of the county's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. Moseley Architects designed the building and Sorenson-Gross Construction, LLC was the contractor. The project was completed on schedule on November 18, 2016. Hundreds of people attended a ceremony in January to celebrate the library reopening. A LEED Gold plaque will be installed at the library later this summer.
Pohick Library branch manager Andrew Pendergrass says there has been a steady stream of positive comments from customers about the bright new look and design of the library. "Many patrons feel sure that the overall size of the library must have grown because everything feels so much bigger with a great spacious feel to our space," said Pendergrass. The most common comment from patrons and staff has been about the improved lighting. "Both the overall bright feel of the library and the consistent good lighting throughout the book stacks have received praise," he said. "I have also heard positive comments about the many beautiful locations to study and read with views of the outside."
The library was also one of three Fairfax County projects recognized by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association as a best infrastructure project in the national capital region.
Fun Fact: The contractor had to relocate 100,000 volumes before interior work could begin.