A recent renovation of the Kingston (Ontario) Frontenac Public Library Central Branch greatly boosted energy and water efficiency while making the facility healthier and safer. Designed by HDR, the project cut the library’s energy use intensity to 55% of the national benchmark for a library building. It scored 24 of 25 points for optimized energy performance to achieve LEED ID+C v4 Gold Certification.
The complete interior renovation added new mechanical, electrical, and life safety systems. The design preserved the historic structure’s stone and brick exterior, while maximizing daylight. The interior now has a more flexible and adaptable layout and was outfitted with locally available finishes that have a low-carbon footprint.
Low book stacks and interior glazed partitions allow all public spaces on the ground level and the second floor to be filled with natural or borrowed light. Upgraded building systems with new technology and the consolidation of core services allow for extended hours for community use and improved sightlines minimize security concerns.
Situated within the Historic Sydenham Conservation District, the library is considered culturally significant. “Being open to the city, engaging and interactive from the street and within was essential for the library to regain its position as a vital part of the civic experience,” said Susan Croswell, HDR Kingston office principal. “The healthy building impacts with additional light in all public spaces are huge improvements. I think in the end, we were very successful in providing a positive impact to the streetscape as well as to library users. The transformation has provided a building that is more visible and open that can positively change lives by transforming information into inspiration.”
“We’re very proud to further the city’s climate action goals with this renovation,” said Laura Carter, chief librarian and CEO, Kingston Frontenac Public Library. “KFPL is thrilled to have a bright, accessible and sustainable space at the heart of our library system.”
On the building team:
Owner and/or developer: City of Kingston / Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL)
Design architect: HDR
Architect of record: HDR
MEP engineer: WSP
Structural engineer: Cleland Jardine Engineering Ltd.
General contractor: Everstrong Construction Ltd.