On August 20, the City of Houston conducted tours of its LEED-Silver Certified Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research at 5300 Caroline Street. This was a wonderful opportunity to see one of the smaller LEED projects in town as well one earned from a major renovation.
Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects did a superb job of renovating the original 1917 home. The home does not get huge credits for energy because the integrity of the preservation won out, as it should. The original cypress windows are still in place as are 90% of the original materials, earning them 2 credits for building reuse. Expect the embodied energy of existing buildings to take on even more importance as LEED evolves.
The biggest changes internally were code related. A new elevator was unobtrusively added. Lighting and some of the HVAC duct work is run through the top caps of the bookshelves. Since this was a house built before air-conditioning, its layout allows for daylight in 100% of spaces.
Innovation credits were earned on water reduction (43.3%) and waste management (95% of waste diverted from landfill). Learning more about William Clayton: His cotton brokerage became one of the biggest in the world and his business partner was a fellow named M. D. Anderson. (May we one day have a LEED tour in one of his namesakes!) Clayton went on to be an author of The Marshall Plan after World war II. This is historic renovation that does justice to his legacy.
And don’t clear the Library Department off your LEED Tour dance card just yet – They have 7 other buildings registered for LEED. To find out more about the Clayton Library’s LEED criteria, see the case study at the USGBC-Texas Gulf Coast Chapter website: http://usgbctexasgulfcoast.org/content.asp?secnum=112&pid=638