Lake View Terrace Branch Library - A Guide to Eco-Friendly Design Features

The Lake View Terrace Branch Library, which provides 21st-century library service in the most environmentally friendly city facility in Los Angeles. This newly established library opened on June 28, 2003, and is the Los Angeles Public Library’s 67th branch. The 10,700-square-foot building is designed to have a minimal impact on the environment through the use of recycled materials and features that conserve energy and water. The features enhance the building’s function, its architecture and—best of all—our environment.


  1. The building is close to housing and park and recreation centers to shorten travel distances.
  2. Situated close to mass transit and electric car charging stations, and provides a bike rack and even a horse-hitching post.
  3. Located to take advantage of the park, tree shading and enhance the south view.
  4. Landscaping features include:
    • native or adapted plants have been restored to half of the open area,
    • shade trees,
    • drought-tolerant plants and water-efficient drip irrigation system to reduce water use.


  1. Trellis at front entrance reduces heat.
  2. Cooling tower features evaporative coolers and automatic control to cool interior air.
  3. Airfoil sunshade awnings on the north and south sides prevent direct sunlight but maintain a draft that vents the building wall.
  4. Light shading shelf on the south reflects sunlight to the interior while screening direct afternoon sunlight, effectively reducing interior UV heat.
  5. Building vanes on the west windows reduce direct afternoon sun.
  6. EPA “Energy Star” roof with reflective color coating reduces solar heat.
  7. Solar panels, when installed on the roof, will generate electricity.
  8. Extra foam insulation (beyond California Title 24 Building requirements) on the exterior wall enhances energy efficiency.
  9. Recycled building materials were manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the branch.


  1. Bamboo wood flooring, which is more rapidly renewable than hardwood.
  2. Wood panels and counters were harvested from managed forests certified by Forest Stewardship Council.
  3. Carpet contains recycled material.
  4. Paints and adhesives with low fumes and fewer volatile organic compounds (VOC) reduce indoor pollutant sources.
  5. Design of the high curved ceiling draws warm air up for improved ventilation and cooling.
  6. Automatic motorized windows allow warm air inside to escape and bring cool outside air into the building, reducing the use of air conditioning and electricity.
  7. Enlarged glass windows and skylights allow natural sunlight.
  8. Window glass features double glazing, Argon gas and low-emission coating to improve insulation.
  9. Energy use is reduced up to 30 percent with high energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling equipment.
  10. Photo sensors automatically control lighting, which improves energy efficiency.
  11. Air conditioning equipment does not use conventional CFC and HCFC refrigerants, which are not environmentally friendly.
  12. Carbon dioxide and humidity sensors monitor indoor air quality.
  13. Low-flow automatic faucets and toilets dramatically reduce water use.
  14. An environmental resource exhibit area in the branch promotes public awareness of ecology.