C.W. Driver Completes Net-Zero Construction of Alpine Library

ALPINE, Calif. — C.W. Driver Companies, based in Pasadena, Calif., has completed construction on one of San Diego County’s first Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings, the Alpine Library in Alpine. C.W. Driver, San Diego-based Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects, and architect Manuel Oncina designed the building.

Two giant trees that entice young readers to curl up with a good book will welcome visitors to the library. Teens and adults can gather in their own areas to enjoy a vast network of 42 million books, DVDs and CDs. The new facility also features a large children’s area for story-time, crafts and early literacy activities. Quiet study rooms, a homework center, public computers and a reading room are also available for patrons.

The approximately 12,700-square-foot library is more than four times the size of the previous one. The new library will provide access to a large collection of educational resources, in addition to hosting a variety of community events and learning services. The space will also act as a safety zone for residents of the rural community during emergencies.

“This design-build team has been instrumental in helping us bridge our vision for an accessible, flexible, sustainable and singular library,” said José A. Aponte, director of the San Diego County Library in a statement.

As a $10 million investment into the community, the construction project included the demolition of an existing park restroom as well as the construction of the new freestanding, single-story steel structure. The project also consisted of on-site improvements and the creation of a new parking lot with 37 spaces.

“Constructing sustainable buildings is a core competency of our firm, which looks to better protect our natural environment,” said Rich Freeark, senior vice president of C.W. Driver Companies’ San Diego operations.

One of the biggest obstacles faced when constructing the Alpine Library included coordinating the exterior wall finishes within the building envelope design.

Because of new Title 24 requirements — standards that are designed to conserve energy and reduce the cost of operating appliances — a layer of rigid insulation was added to the exterior of the building.
According to C.W. Driver, this made finishing the exterior of the building much more difficult since the fiber cement board could not be attached. To combat these challenges, the construction team mounted a layer of furring channel, or a series of thin strips of metal designed to raise surfaces of another material to help create space or attach the exterior of a building.
“We’re excited to deliver this highly efficient energy space for the community to enjoy and use as a resource,” said Freeark in a statement.

Besides acting as a sustainable resource for the community, the Alpine Library was built with intentions of achieving ZNE consumption as well as attaining LEED Gold certification and Living Building status. To meet these aspirations, the building was constructed with a heating and cooling system powered by the sun through a photovoltaic panel roof system.

In addition to Freeark, the C.W. Driver project management team included Andy Feth, project director; Matt Christensen, project manager; Will House, superintendent; Catalino Rombaoa, senior estimator; and Caryl Anne Vrendenburg, senior project planner.


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