Newly renovated Central Library awarded ‘Three Green Globes’ for energy efficiency

Sharon Sullivan
The newly-remodeled and expanded Central Library was recently awarded a “Three Green Globes” rating for energy efficiency and sustainability.
Sharon Sullivan / | Free Press


Green Globes is a web-based program for green building guidance and certification that includes an onsite assessment by a third party. It is Backed by customer support, Green Globes offers a streamlined and affordable alternative to LEED as a way to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial buildings. The rating system ranges from one to four Green Globes — four being the highest and best rating.

The Green Globes system is used in Canada and the USA. In the USA, Green Globes is operated by the Green Building Initiative (GBI).


When Mesa County Libraries Director Eve Tallman set out to create a new Central Library, she and the library board of trustees sought to be good stewards of both taxpayer dollars and the planet.

The new Central Library was recently awarded a “Three Green Globes” rating for energy efficiency and sustainability. The rating is considered comparable to a “Gold” rating under LEED, a similar energy-efficiency evaluation system. Green Globes evaluates building projects across the United States and Canada.

Even with an expanded library of 9,000 additional square feet, Tallman expects lower utility bills.

“We had three buildings — now we just have one, and it’s more efficient,” she said. “We’ve completely overhauled our cooling and heating,” plus the library contains a lot of natural lighting.

It was always the intention of the library board to create a model building for downtown Grand Junction, one that reduces the library’s impact on the environment, Tallman said.

“We have achieved a relatively green building on a shoestring budget,” she said.

They reached that goal with energy-efficient design, reuse of the existing structure, high-performance glazing, and nontoxic building materials.

Reusing the existing building was an important factor in the high ranking, library spokesman Bob Kretschman said. “We didn’t generate a bunch of waste by tearing (the old building) down and then rebuilding.”

The window glazing, a window treatment that blocks out ultraviolet light and prevents the transmittal of heat and cold through the glass, was also an important feature, Kretschman said.

The library was assessed on seven broad criteria: project management and policies; site enhancement; energy efficiency; water quality protection and conservation; resources, building materials and solid waste; air emissions; and indoor environment. The newly renovated Central Library at Fifth Street and Grand Avenue reopened to the public June 20. The 45,000-square-foot building includes a new fiction room, a shaded outdoor patio, and a community room that can hold up to 230 people.

Tallman, who will retire as director Aug. 6, plans to return to Moab, where she directed the Grand County Public Library before accepting the Mesa County Libraries position in 2007. That same year, the Moab library was named the “2007 Best Small Library in America,” an award sponsored by Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Under Tallman’s direction, the Moab library was also recognized for its energy efficiency.

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