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DeKalb library board to seek LEED status for expansion

Published: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – Members of the DeKalb Public Library Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to submit paperwork to the U.S. Green Building Council that could lead to a green certification for its renovation and expansion project.

After some discussion, the board voted unanimously in favor of beginning the process to become certified in the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, which recognizes building designs and operations that meet a prescribed set of environmental sustainability standards.

“This building is built to great standards, so our goal for the next expansion is to continue with very high standards,” Library Director Dee Coover said. “LEED certainly sets a high standard.”

The registration process requires a $900 registration fee that the library will pay to the U.S. Green Building Council in order to lock into the current LEED program before the program updates its standards in November, but it plans to await the hiring of a construction manager, so that it can determine the true construction costs of LEED certification before it locks down the building’s design.

Coover said the library began the process of finding a construction manager Wednesday.

“Until the CM is on board, we don’t know the true construction costs,” she said.

There are four levels of LEED certification that entail increasingly more stringent environmental standards. Certified is the lowest level of certification, followed by silver, then gold and platinum, the highest.

No other public buildings in DeKalb have applied for or received LEED certification.

The library’s design contract with Nagle and Hartray Architecture includes the option to pursue LEED certification up through the silver level without incurring additional design costs.

“I attended a meeting of the library staff last week,” board President Clark Neher said before the vote. “There was unanimous agreement that we should have LEED certification. I think there is agreement that we probably will not make platinum, maybe not gold, but we should move toward LEED certification – that it’s in the best interest of the library.”

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