A virtual ribbon cutting ceremony for the Greenpoint Library (107 Norman Ave.) is currently underway with a livestream of speeches at the library entrance. View the livestream on the Greenpoint Library’s Facebook page, and as a reminder, limited lobby service launches today from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

In a press release, The Brooklyn Public Library revealed details of the environmental-friendly design of the new building:

Photo: Julia Moak
  • Outside, on the plaza, a bioswale – a channel designed to convey and store rainwater runoff – will help reduce flooding and avert pollutants from our waterways into the ground below, and help teach about physical preparedness for climate change.
Photo: Julia Moak
  • Glacial outcroppings in front of the library will help interpret the geological history of the area, telling the story of glacial erratics, tracing the NW to SE of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during its expansion across Brooklyn approximately 18,000 years ago.
  • The large, open spaces inside the library utilize displacement ventilation, a highly-efficient heating and cooling system that introduces a large amount of air into the space at a low velocity; our bodies attract the air, creating individualized “thermal plumes” around each person, delivering fresh air efficiently through all seasons.
  • The library’s three meeting rooms bring the outdoors inside: each room features a wood wall containing the different species of trees native to the Greenpoint neighborhood- ash, walnut, and red oak. All of the wood used in the library is Forest Stewardship Council-certified.
Photo: Julia Moak
  • The second floor reading garden is a place for talks and performances or to enjoy a book in the sunshine. A large sculpted planting bed surrounds the area with native and fruit-bearing shrubs, offering both food and a critical habitat for birds and insects, who in turn, distribute the seeds throughout the neighborhood.
Photo: Julia Moak
Photo: Julia Moak
  • A second-floor cistern can capture and store up to 1,500 gallons of rainwater, which the library will use for lab experiments and to water the plants on both the second and third floor — helping divert rain water from the sewer system and reduce tap water usage. Rainwater not held here will flow from the roofs down to the plaza below and filter through the bioswale or drain into a detention tank.
  • An interactive, educational energy use tracking screen on the second floor will showcase the building’s energy usage in real time, and the energy generated by the solar panels.  
Photo: Julia Moak
  • Installed on a canopy structure above mechanical equipment, the library’s solar panel modules can collect over 15 kilowatts of energy at once, just from sunlight. Over the course of one year, they can produce over 19,000 kilowatts, which help power the library. The modules are bifacial, meaning they can collect energy from both sides of the panel: sunlight from above and from light reflected off the roof.
  • A ‘demonstration garden’ on the roof can be used by students and community groups in the area, who will choose, alongside library staff, what and when to plant, and will help take care of the plants throughout the year, watching the plant life cycle in real time. Surrounding the demonstration area, a pollinator garden is planted with sedum beds that evoke the neighborhood’s agricultural history.
Photo: Julia Moak
Photo: Julia Moak

The Greenpoint library is open Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Tue and Thu 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. (closed Sun).

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  1. My friend went to the opening and said it was big on pols. getting FaceTime but little on anything else.

    I never understood why the historic previous library that was there for many yrs was knocked down or for that matter the one after that.

    The public school not too far away from this new library was built in 1867 and still standing and operating for kids.

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