Tucked into the woods, the new LEED-silver certified Kingwood Branch Library features large windows overlooking the forested landscape.

Photo: Geoff Lyon

The library has spacious meeting rooms; specialized rooms for teens and children; and more room for books than the current library. The design for the two-story, 30,000-sq-ft building leaves 70% of the site as a forested green space.

SpawGlass, the general contractor, recycled 83% of construction materials, including concrete, wood, sheetrock, metal studs, paper and steel. The team used regional materials throughout the building.

The bioflow in the parking lot creates drainage so that the sediment water is filtered before it reaches the storm sewer. Low-VOC paint, dual-flush toilets, carpet with recycled components and native vegetation were used in the library.

Special care was required during the installation of the brick facade. The project’s architect alternated the face of each course by .5 in., requiring increased attention to detail and tooling to produce an extraordinary, yet decorative, look while blending two different colors of face brick.

The west and south sides of the building are skinned with three different shades of plaster, and strategically located control joints line up perfectly with every window mullion. The extreme coordination between the plaster and window subcontractors made this design detail a success.

Key Players

Submitted by: SpawGlass
Developer/owner: City of Houston/Harris County, Houston
General contractor: SpawGlass, Houston
Architect: Kirksey Architects, Houston
Civil engineer: Klotz Associates, Houston
Structural engineer: Henderson+Rogers Houston
MEP engineer: Infrastructure Associates Inc., Houston