South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

New Carrick Library opens October 20

 

October 9, 2018



After a decade-long community process, Carrick will have a new the first-of-its-kind library when it opens October 20.

The country’s first Passive House library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s (CLP) Carrick Branch, is a better-quality energy-efficient building that minimizes mechanical systems. Double the size of the previous library, the building will use 70 to 90 percent less energy than traditional structures.

Unlike the old library that only had windows in a small front meeting room, the design of the library features triple-pane windows throughout. The Passive-House standard also means there will be better quality air and less street noise in the building.

In 2008, CLP was considering closing the Knoxville and Carrick branches and constructing a new library somewhere in-between. Through an extensive community process, members of both communities preferred to keep a library in each neighborhood.

After being unable to find a suitable location to combine the libraries, CLP in 2011 decided to renovate the Knoxville Branch first, completing the project in 2016. Planning for the Carrick library began 2015.

The first design for the new library was a two-story building on the existing building’s footprint. Community members preferred an expanded footprint utilizing the Lauterbach Dental Lab property next door.

The new building has expanded adult and teen areas along with a larger community meeting room overlooking the library’s rain garden along Brownsville Road. The rain garden will be able to capture 85-90 percent of storm water from the building in below ground storage tanks and then dissipating slowly into the ground, keeping it out of the sewer system.

The rain garden was constructed in cooperation with the Allegheny County Garden Club and features large rocks and plants such as would be found in a river environment.

The garden is able to capture 100 percent of the water from a 25-year storm for 24 hours.

The new library is 8,000, more than double the size of the old one. Instead of an elevator, the library will utilize an ADA acceptable ramp along the perimeter of the building to access the second floor.

Cost of the new library is more than $4 million.

 

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