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Going Green: Comprehensive LEED EBOM Building Implementation Program

County of Los Angeles Public Library

Problem Statement

Around the world, libraries are leading the way in the “green” building move-ment. The County Library has 86 existing library buildings of various sizes and vintages. Precious resources (economic as well as natural) are required to meet the needs of a huge user population base. The County’s goal is to increase the sustainable “green” use of its library facilities in a measurable way without sacrificing durability, flexibility or user accessibility and comfort. Looking at the Library’s overall mission, it is clear that certifying all, not only new, buildings on the LEED EBOM standard increases the positive effect of the Library on its patrons and decreases the negative impact on the environment, while saving money and preserving library collections.


To “green” each of its sites staff selected the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED EBOM (Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance) system because it creates a clear metric that allows the Library to measure the progress of each site, identify areas of potential progress, and communicate this to all the stakeholders involved. Collaboration is the key to swift and effective results. A manual is being developed in partnership with the County Office of Sustainability (which has already successfully submitted County buildings for certification under LEED EBOM). Adherence to these protocols ensures that each site will be inspected, an individual goal/score sheet developed, and the needed actions for that site will be planned and implemented. Another innovation is the development of practical procedures that can be used at any library’s facilities.


The County of Los mandated meeting LEED standards for every new building over 10,000 square feet. The County Library is exceeding that goal by applying the standard to all buildings, regardless of size or age; so that the same ideals will become a reality at existing libraries. The program is currently in the planning and early implementation stages. The Library Headquarters building and two existing libraries have been selected for the pilot program. Staff is also working through the LEED EBOM program to determine what items are county-wide priorities and which ones will be achieved on a per site basis. We are identifying savings so that resources can be re-allocated as needed. This demonstrates the County of Los Angeles is acting in good faith as a steward of public funds and facilities entrusted to it, providing quality environments at the lowest possible yearly and lifecycle costs.