Post image for Renton Highlands Library

Renton Highlands Library

Project Info

King County Library System
Renton, Washington
15,600 sf
Completed 2016

Located 11 miles southeast of Seattle, the town of Renton experienced a sharp population increase during World War II when Boeing built an aircraft factory there. In addition to Boeing, other large industrial companies now call Renton home, resulting in a culturally and economically diverse community. The new Renton Highlands Library is located on a busy thoroughfare, outside of the downtown core but surrounded by retail and residential properties.

The new library is designed to be a highly visible and accessible beacon for the community. Influenced by the history of Renton, the design is inspired by flight – with an airplane hangar typology and the feeling of lightness and airiness in the interior. The building has a limited number of columns, creating good staff sightlines to all public areas and allowing the library to adapt to future technology changes. The library features a main reading room, children’s area, teen section, quiet room, community meeting room, staff work and lounge areas and underground parking. The children’s area is located at the building corner – the most visible location. Expected to meet the energy-performance requirements of Architecture 2030, the design features smart sustainable design strategies that focus on energy efficiency and providing lasting value.

Sustainable Design Highlights:
Sustainable strategies include:

  • Local and recycled materials
  • Green roof reduces heat island effect and filters rainwater
  • Stormwater planters filter rainwater on-site
  • Rainwater cistern collects and retains rainwater for non-potable use
  • Bike parking and adjacent public transportation route reduce car trips
  • Skylights ensure even daylighting throughout space
  • Sunshades allow natural light while reducing heat gain
  • Daylight sensors and efficient lighting fixtures reduce energy usage Optimized window area and advanced construction increase energy efficiency
  • Radiant heating and cooling system reduce energy usage