Launch Slideshow

Harvard Library Services Building, Cambridge, Mass.

Harvard Library Services Building, Cambridge, Mass.

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    A
    SBS-modified bituminous 20/30 paradiene elastomeric roof coating

    Siplast
    www.siplast-international.com
    Two-layer, colored, selffinished waterproofing system
    • SBS elastomeric bitumen binder reportedly resists cracking and weathering
    • Glass reinforcements give extra dimensional stability
    • Puncture resistant
    • For concrete, metal, timber, or plywood roof decks and under gravel on inaccessible roofs or on concrete decks

    B
    7500 Series curtain wall
    Kawneer
    www.kawneer.com
    ISOWEB thermal break
    • Can accommodate a variety of infills, up to triple-glazed insulating glass units
    • Painted finishes with twocolor design options
    • Pressure-equalized for rain screen design
    • 4-inch standard mullion depth
    • 2.5-inch profile
    • U factor up to 0.17 BTU/ hour degrees F
    • Door adapters and operable windows available

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    TerrArt terra-cotta rainscreen

    NBK Ceramic
    www.nbk.de
    Suspended facade construction with rear ventilation
    • Available in large, mid, shingle, solid, and baguette panels, as well as special shapes, useful for corners and undulating elevations
    • Kit of parts has 15 components to ensure proper alignment and concealment of substructure

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    Metallo II ceiling and wall system finish

    Decoustics
    www.decoustics.com
    Acoustically transparent
    • Metallic effect in certain lighting conditions
    • Color can be matched to paint or Pantone (whites and light colors not available)
    • Largest recommended panel is 48 inches by 72 inches
    • Applied to face and extruded aluminum edging
    • Suitable for flat, shaped, or 2-D precurved panels
    • Applied at factory
    • Class A flame spread

    B
    Ducks in a Row modular carpet tile

    Shaw Contract
    www.shawcontractgroup.com
    100 percent Eco Solution Q premium branded nylon protective treatments
    • Antistatic with soil and FlorSept antimicrobial protection
    • 24-inch-square tiles
    • 1/10 gauge
    • 17-ounce face weight
    • 38.4 percent postindustrial recycled content
    • ASTM E-648 flooring radiant panel class I flammability rating
    • Part of Green with Envy collection

    C
    ApplePly plywood

    States Industries
    www.statesind.com
    Veneer core constructed from uniform laminations of 1/16-inch alder and birch sheets
    • Comes in widths from ¼ to 1¼ inches and 8- and 10-foot lengths
    • Ultraviolet-cured finishes include clear, translucent, opaque, and patterned
    • Four colors available
    • Machines without tearing

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    Snowdonian Grey Slate

    Shep Brown Associates
    www.shepbrownassociates.com
    For interior and exterior use
    • Natural cleft and honed finishes available
    • Manufactured as tile, mosaic, slab, or in custom sizes
    • Applications include flooring, walls, stairs, cladding, and counters

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    Tolomeo task lights

    Artemide
    www.artemide.us
    Adjustable, articulated arm with tension cables
    • Diffuser is stamped, anodized matte aluminum and rotates 360 degrees
    • Available in white or black finishes and with incandescent or fluorescent sources
    • Base, clamp, and inset pivot-mount options

    B
    Marmoleum Real

    Forbo
    www.forbo.com
    Available in 29 colors
    • Marbling effect in three styles: Real Authentic, Real Bold, and Real Classic
    • Multicolored and solid welding rods are also available for all styles
    • Forbo Topshield requires no primer and prevents scuffing and marks
    • Permanently antistatic
    • Permanently bacteriostatic
    • Repairable

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    Luca armchair

    Kusch + Co
    www.kusch.de
    Frame, backrest, and arms made from natural beech
    • Upholstered seat
    • Five sizes and models
    • Plastic glides
    • Available options include stained beech frame, protective foil finish, flameretardant upholstery, and metal or felt glides

    B
    Series 1500 occasional table

    Kusch + Co
    www.kusch.de
    Tabletop sized at 60 or 70 inches square
    • Top fi nish options include natural beech or HPL laminate
    • Can be specified with a center or corner legs
    • Plastic glides come standard, with the option for metal or felt
    • Standard lipping includes 2mm PVC or beech veneer trim, but acrylic multiplex beech, metallic, HPL, or stained lipping are available with different top surface options

    C
    Sam lounge chair

    Jack Cartwright
    www.jackcartwright.com
    Reinforced hardwood and plywood frame
    • High-density polyurethane over resilient webbing on deck
    • Exposed legs available in 11 finishes plus custom options
    • All finishes are antimicrobial
    • Contrasting welt and multifabric applications available
    • Available in 12 styles of chairs and sofas

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    Capisco Stool

    Hag
    www.hag.no
    Adjusts between low and high working positions
    • 200 mm standard lift with 150 mm and 265 mm option
    • Casters available for different floor types
    • Large range of colors and fabrics
    • Suitable for surface heights of 29 inches and higher
    • Seat made from recycled bumpers and plastic packaging

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    Xorel fabric

    Carnegie
    www.xorel.com
    Continuous monofi lament polyethylene for durability, cleanability, and colorfastness
    • Paper backing, acrylic backing, and nonwoven backing options available
    • Installs with clear wallcovering adhesive

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    Aeron task chair

    Herman Miller
    www.hermanmiller.com
    Available in three sizes
    • PostureFit system provides lower-back support
    • Takes weight off lower spine
    • Pellicle system evenly distributes weight to minimize pressure
    • Backrest and seat move in relation to each other and to the tilt of the chair
    • Choice of three woven mesh upholstery fabrics
    • Also available as a stool

Learning from mistakes can be great--especially when they aren't yours. When LeersWeinzapfel Associates (LWA) and Samuel Anderson Architects (SAA) embarked ondesigning a new LEED-certified Library Services Building for Harvard University in 2002,they already knew that a big, flashy building wasn't the way to go. A bulky avant-garde design by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Hans Hollein had previously been shot down by the Cambridge Historical Society (CHS) forbeing incongruous among the smaller, more traditional structures surrounding it.

"The problem with the Hollein design was that they designed it without really talking to the community, so it was too big for the site and didn't address some of the issues the community had," says Natasha Espada, an LWA project manager for the design. "We had to come in and really talk to the community and get them on board." While working in heavy collaboration with community groups was time-consuming and restrictive in some ways, in the end, the feedback dovetailed surprisingly well with sustainability measures that helped the building gain a LEED rating.

Known for its refined, context-sensitive designs, Boston-based LWA concentrated on the shell and core. New York City-based SAA, which designed the interior, brought an expertise in designing conservation labs to its work on the building's Weissman Preservation Center, which preserves old, rare materials for all the Harvard libraries. The building is also home to library information systems staff and a non-Harvard bookstore on the ground floor. Library workers had a strong say in the design, as did community groups such as the CHS. The society requested a building of limited height, and it even worked with the architects to make sure its proportions and base spacing would resonate with neighboring architecture. In addition, the CHS expressed concerns about noise pollution. Because the university requested a LEED Silver rating (it actually received Gold), the architects knew the new building would have to refrain from impinging not only on its neighbors but on the environment as well. The architecture firms received help from the then-new Harvard Green Campus Initiative, which served as the sustainability consultant; engineering company Green International; and recycling expert Institution Recycling Network, among others.

The architects addressed both the community's height and noise concerns at once by excavating down to create two stories below grade, where the structure's two HVAC and other mechanical systems were placed. A geothermal heating and cooling system also obviated noisy rooftop mechanical systems and offered energy efficiency. Using a concrete structure helped keep the building height down and was eco-friendly. It also eliminated the need for extra layers of other materials, Espada says. To add texture in the stairway and core area, LWA used molds made of 2x4s, which imprinted the concrete with a wood texture.

The conservation lab needed special attention to light, temperature, and humidity control, due to the specialized work and fragile materials there; in fact, that lab and conservation workrooms on the third floor required a separate HVAC system altogether. Assisted by a curtain wall that resists condensation, a climate control system regulates the temperature and humidity. Engineering consulting firm Cosentini Associates equipped the energy-efficient system with carbon dioxide sensors, so only as much outside air as needed is taken in. Another sustainable strategy in the lab was to design fume hoods to run at a very low level of energy most of the time, says Sam Anderson, principal of SAA. Nine skylights are equipped with Nysan louvers with movement controlled by light sensors that monitor the amount of even light on the tables below.

SAA custom-designed the lab tables and work areas throughout the building with FSC-certified clear cherry and stained maple ApplePly plywood from States Industries, among other woods, which offered the advantages of being relatively inexpensive and environmentally friendly. The firm specified the same materials for the bookshelves that line the walls along some private offices, the plywood's striations mimicking the look of the tomes within. Other eco-friendly products include low-VOC Ducks in a Row recyclable modular carpet tiles by Shaw; Marmoleum Real linoleum by Forbo International, which is both green and durable; and recyclable Xorel fabric by Carnegie, Anderson says.

The four above-grade stories were made as visually unobtrusive as possible with abundant glass for a transparent, airy look; elsewhere, a light-hued terra-cotta rain screen mimics the look of Boston's traditional brick, according to Espada. The north side of the building, which faces the street, is covered with a high-performance glass curtain wall, which gives abundant daylighting, a sustainability measure. "At least 75 percent of the spaces get daylight, if not more," says Espada, who is a LEED AP. Northern light was a boon for the conservation lab on the fourth floor, because it offers an ideal color temperature for conservation and preservation work, Anderson says. The architects created space for open-plan workstations on that side of the building on the second to fourth floors, shifting the core to the southern side. Private offices are clustered around the core, on the sides or the back of the building.

The building opened in May 2006, garnering an AIA New England design award the following year. While crafting a design after Hollein might have been intimidating, LWA took it in stride, Espada says. "We've worked in Cambridge a lot, and I think we knew what the issues were before we started. We made sure it was very inclusive and everyone was involved from the beginning," she says, adding, "It's great when you hear that people are using the building well. ... During the day, they typically never have to turn on the lights in the conservation lab, which means that the louvers are working well and that they have enough natural, even light." On the lower-tech side, a tree-lined pathway beside the building that connects to Winthrop Street has proven highly popular and gives a nod to the neighborhood's past, when such paths were more common. At least in this case, the dreaded "design by committee" seems to have led to some highly successful—and sustainable—results.

Note: Harvard University does not endorse the products mentioned in this story.

Project: Library Services Building
Location: Cambridge, Mass.
Client: Harvard Real Estate Services
Architect: Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Boston—Andrea P. Leers (principal in charge); Natasha Espada (project architect/project manager); Joseph Raia (project manager); Randy Whinnery (job captain); Tom Chung, Vaughn Miller, Tina Murdough (design team)
Interior Architect: Samuel Anderson Architects, New York—Samuel M. Anderson (principal in charge); Todd Walbourn, Caroline Voss (project architects); Kimberly Furlong (job captain)
Landscape Architect: Stephen Stimson Associates
Structural Engineer: Lim Consultants
M/E/P Engineer: Cosentini Associates
Civil Engineer: Green International
Construction Manager: Jackson Construction
Lighting Designer: Brandston Partnership
Acoustics Consultant: Acentech (Core/Shell); Acoustic Dimensions (Tenant Interiors)
Accessibility Consultant: Kessler McGuinness & Associates
Geothermal Consultant: Water Energy Distributors
Code Consultant: Solutions Engineers
Cost Consultant: Faithful & Gould

PRODUCT SPECS

EXTERIOR

Location Exterior cladding
Product SBS-modified bituminous 20/30 paradiene with PC 227 elastomeric roof coating
Manufacturer Siplas
Websitesiplast-international.com

Location North curtain wall
Product Kawneer 7500 series
Manufacturer Kawneer
Websitekawneer.com

Location Exterior cladding
Product TerrArt terra-cotta rainscreen
Manufacturer NBK Ceramic
Websitenbk.de

Location Roof
Product Skylights
Manufacturer Supersky
Websitesupersky.com

STRUCTURE

Location Throughout
Product Architectural finish concrete

FLOORING

Location Offices
Product Ducks in a Row modulart carpet tile
Manufacturer Shaw Contract
Websiteshawcontractgroup.com

Location Lobby and conservation laboratory
Product Marmoleum Real
Manufacturer Forbo
Website  forbo.com

Location Stairs and entry
Product Snowdonian Grey Slate
Manufacturer Shep Brown Associates
Websiteshepbrownassociates.com

Location Restrooms
Product Romain tile
Manufacturer Royal Mosa Tile

CEILINGS

Location Throughout
Product Metallo ceiling panels
Manufacturer Decoustics
Websitedecoustics.com

Location Throughout
Product Micore 300 ceiling panels
Manufacturer Decoustics
Websitedecoustics.com

FINISHES

Location Restrooms
Product Wall tile
Manufacturer Alumillenium
Websitealumilleniumtile.com

Location Office tack boards
Product Xorel
Manufacturer Carnegie
Websitexorel.com

Location Conservation laboratory
Product FSC-certified clearcherry and stained maple ApplePly plywood
Manufacturer States Industries
Websitestatesind.com

Location Office workstations
Product Stained lino-cork
Manufacturer Forbo
Website  forbo.com

Location Conservation lab bookcases
Product Performa casters
Manufacturer Colson Casters
Websitecolsoncaster.com

Location Conservation lab
Product Resin countertops
Manufacturer Epoxyn Products
Websiteepoxyn.com

FIXTURES

Location Throughout
Product Window shades with 5 percent openness at windows and 15 percent openness at curtain wall
Manufacturer Nysan Solar Control
Websitenysan.com

Location Skylights
Product Light sensor-controlled shading louvers
Manufacturer Nysan Solar Control
Websitenysan.com

FURNITURE

Location Conservation lab
Product Custom wood paneling, casework, and bookcase partitions designed by SAA
Manufacturer Cabinetmaster Architectural Woodwork
Websited1678891.u43.whsecure.net

Location Offices
Product Custom workstation system designed by SAA
Manufacturer Cabinetmaster Architectural Woodwork
Websited1678891.u43.whsecure.net

Location Conference room
Product Aside chair
Manufacturer Herman Miller
Websitehermanmiller.com

Location Offices
Product Aeron task chair
Manufacturer Herman Miller
Websitehermanmiller.com

Location Conservation lab
Product Capisco stool
Manufacturer Hag
Websitehag.no

Location Fourth-floor offices
Product Rock&Stop guest chairs
Manufacturer Danko Persing
Website  peterdanko.com

Location Third-floor offices
Product Gotham arm chair
Manufacturer Danko Persing
Websitepeterdanko.com

Location Café
Product Sam arm chair
Manufacturer Jack Cartwright
Website  jackcartwright.com

Location Café
Product Luca stack chair
Manufacturer Kusch + Co
Websitekusch.de

Location Lobby
Product Nelson bench
Manufacturer Herman Miller
Websitehermanmiller.com

Location Café
Product Aaron table
Manufacturer Kusch + Co
Websitekusch.de

Location Café
Product Luca table
Manufacturer Kusch + Co
Websitekusch.de

Location Conference room
Product IO flip-top table
Manufacturer Berco
Websitebercoinc.com

LIGHTING

Location Offices
Product Tolomeo task light
Manufacturer Artemide
Websiteartemide.us

Location Office workstations
Product Integrated lighting
Manufacturer Gammalux
Website  gammalux.com

CONSERVATION EQUIPMENT

Location Conservation lab
Product 14-foot horizontal and vertical snorkels
Manufacturer Nederman
Websitenederman.com

Location Conservation lab
Product Supreme Air fume hoods
Manufacturer Kewaunee
Websitekewaunee.com