artists rendering

Coming in Fall 2010

(Dallas, TX) — Groundbreaking ceremonies were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 for the new Prairie Creek Branch Library at 9609 Lake June Road. The 18,000 square-foot library will be built to house a 75,000-volume collection of books and media.

Prairie Creek will be constructed with the goal of achieving a Platinum level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the highest rating given by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Hampton-Illinois and Timberglen Branch Libraries have achieved Gold LEED status, and the Lochwood and Bachman Lake branches are working towards Gold status. The Grauwyler Branch Library is Silver LEED rated.

“Over the next 12 months architecture, design and construction teams will be incorporating sustainable systems we are hopeful will help us achieve a Platinum Level LEED rating,” said Director of Libraries Laurie Evans. “At the present time, there are no Platinum Level City of Dallas buildings, and we would love for Prairie Creek to be the first.” Architecture and design of the new branch library was done by dsgn associates; the general contractor is Turner Construction, both located in Dallas.

The new library will have 100 parking spaces; a public meeting space; a Teen Center and Children’s Center; 25 computers and 15 laptops; wireless internet access, two self-checkout stations; drive up access for book and media returns; and an outdoor learning area for children’s nature study.

Dallas City Council Member Vonciel Jones-Hill, Assistant City Manager Forest Turner, Director of Libraries Laurie Evans and Municipal Library Board Chair Suzanne Charriere will speak at the groundbreaking ceremony.

For information on the many free programs and services available at the Dallas Public Library, visit: The Dallas Public Library operates the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St., 25 branch locations, Bookmarks in NorthPark Center and two Bookmobiles. A library card is free for any Dallas resident.

January 8th, 2009 in Uncategorized    |    No comments

Bringing the Prairie Home with Prairie Creek Library

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, the new 18,420 square foot Prairie Creek Branch Library will combine architecture, landscape, and art into an integrated approach to the sustainable design of a modern library. Located on a 3.87 acre site in southeast Dallas at the intersection of Lake June and St. Augustine, the library has been designed by dsgn associates of Dallas to achieve a GOLD level of certification by the United States Green Building Council, one of the highest recognitions for green building design.

Tall Grass Prairie
The site design for the new library will re-create a one-acre tall grass prairie as a landscape feature, recalling the blackland prairies that inspired the name of nearby Prairie Creek. The planning of the library building itself takes full advantage of this visual amenity, with the Reading Room having dramatic, expansive views to both north and south across the expanse of native grasses. Other advantages to this approach are lower initial maintenance and operation costs, greatly reduced water consumption for site irrigation, and establishment of wildlife habitat, especially for birds. For the remainder of the site, Mesa Design Group, landscape architects, have selected a compatible range of trees, ground covers, and other plantings native to Texas to complement and enhance the overall site design.

Sustainable Features

Other sustainable design features of Prairie Creek Branch Library include an array of photo voltaic panels, careful solar orientation of the building and its windows, a geothermal air conditioning and heating system, a grey water recycling system, and regionally produced stone and brick for the exterior finishes. In addition to achieving LEED GOLD certification, the building is expected to meet the 2030 Challenge, consuming approximately 30% less off-site electricity when compared to code, and approximately 50% less when compared to older Dallas libraries.

Educational Innovation
wild flowers
One of the potential points towards LEED GOLD certification will be an innovative educational point. To achieve this point, architects from dsgn associates and City employees have teamed up to create public awareness about the unique features of the library. The conservation and pollution prevention aspects of the prairie grass will be emphasized so that neighboring residents do not mistake the tall grass prairie for unmowed grass, something that a resident could be potentially cited for by the City’s Code Compliance department.

Community Outreach

Additionally, an educational presentation about how the new library helps the environment will be taken to neighboring schools, congregations and Home Owner’s Associations. All local stakeholders are welcome to attend the groundbreaking on January 9th as well as other events throughout the building process.

-Robert L. Meckfessel is an architect with dsgn associates, the company contracted with the City to work on the Prairie Creek Library. He is FAIA LEED AP certified.