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Friday, November 15, 2013

Viewscapes

One of the first things you’ll notice upon visiting the soon-to-open Gaithersburg Library is the abundance of natural light.

Readers, browsers, and dreamers can gaze out windows in just about every section of the building, and clerestory windows frame the drifting clouds, shedding light from above.

fall color and light streaming in windows at Gaithersburg Library
Fall color and sunlight streaming in.

clerestory windows with drifting clouds
Clerestory windows with drifting clouds.

clerestory windows
Clerestory windows.

From windows on the second floor, you can see two areas of green roof, an environmentally sensitive feature of the building.  Green roofs reduce storm water runoff and heat-island effects, and they also provide insulation.  Ours are planted with sedums and other ground-hugging greenery that need only minimal maintenance.  The American Society of Landscape Architects provides an excellent explanation of the benefits of green roofs that you can share with your kids.
green roof
One of the green roof areas at Gaithersburg Library.