During construction the J. Paul Leonard Library is a loud and messy eyesore. But upon completion, it will be and environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient space with more student study areas and a high-tech book retrieval system.
"The facilities staff is ahead of the faculty and students when it comes to sustainability," Carlos Davidson, environmental studies program and associate professor, said. "They've put in years of thinking and putting things into practice."
In sustainable construction a reduction in the consumption of resources is essential. For this reason, the capital planning, design and construction department integrated the recycling of as much of the existing structure as possible.
Conservation of space is also a benefit in the new Library Retrieval System. The LRS will be housed in a three-story, open space between the creative arts building and the existing structure.
"Stacks of books take space," LaVonne Jacobsen, library faculty co-chair and division head, said. "This is an appropriate way to do high density shelving in limited space."
Smaller, traditional book stacks will still be available on the floors above the LRS.
The use of a LRS frees up more space for study areas - which will have wireless internet access - while still allowing room for the collection to grow.
An increased amount of windows with low E glazing, which maximizes natural lighting while minimizing heat gain and loss, energy-efficient, T8 fluorescent lighting and computerized heating and ventilation monitoring, will help the new structure come in below current energy standards.
"The library, when completed, will surpass the title 24 energy code requirements - at the time the specifications were written - by a minimum of 15 percent," Capital Planning project coordinator Betsy Jo Carleton said.
California's current energy efficient standards, by which the library specifications were written, are effective through December 2009.
The finishing touches in the building, like paint and flooring will consists of low volatile organic compound materials.
"SF State has been committed for years to using low VOC content paints, finished adhesives and carpet," SF State Sustainability Coordinator Caitlin Steele said. "By including these aspects into the library design the occupants will benefit from a better indoor environmental quality."
The eco-friendly aspects of the future library continue outside as well. The landscaping will consist of low-maintenance, indigenous plants - reducing the amount of water usage and the west side of the building will be aligned with bicycle racks.
This feature cannot come soon enough for students who bike to school, since the campus police have begun issuing $58 tickets for improperly locked-up bikes.