One of Norfolk State University’s largest new building projects, its132,000-square foot Lyman Beecher Brooks Library, promises to be a healthier and more comfortable place to study, learn and meet, all thanks to a green-centric building conversion plan that the Norfolk, Va.-based college recently executed.
The college library recently recently migrated to low-emissivity glazing; ample daylight to reduce dependence on electric lighting; carbon dioxide sensors to assist in providing adequate ventilation; pervious pavers to decrease the quantity of storm runoff from the site; reflective standing-seam metal roofing to prevent the “Heat Island Effect” and reduce building cooling loads; and dual-flush toilets, 0.125 gallon-per-flush urinals, and 0.5 gallon-per-minute lavatories, which contribute to a water use reduction of more than 50 percent.
Additionally, a spray foam insulation application was also part of the ambitious demonstration of a green conversions. The insulation, InsulBloc, is manufactured by NCFI Polyurethanes.
The library was designed by John Portman & Associates. Moseley Architects served as the local architect and the architect of record. Other team members included library experts Jay Lucker and Tappe Associates and technology consultants, Waveguide.
The spray foam insulation compound is often one of those unsung pieces within a green building strategy, but it's a part of the mix that involves just as much due diligence. The application selected by the university has an exceptional R-value (thermal resistance value), 100% adhesion, is regarded as “monolithic” so there are no seams, fills cracks and crevices and leaves no air space when it cures. It is also an air barrier so no pollen, dust, or other airborne things get through, and it’s closed-cell meaning no water can get through it.