East Boston Branch: Boston Public Library

East Boston, MA

Located adjacent to the East Boston Parkway, the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library system sits at the end of the Bremen Street Park and overlooks the public gardens to the south, through seemingly endless curtain wall glazing. This 15,000 sf library was completed in October 2013 and has become a local sensation for the East Boston community, winning the 2014 Harleston Parker People’s Choice Award.

With a program that includes a full service library, community gathering space, and ample young adult, teen, and children facilities, the East Boston Branch of the BPL provides a popular and inviting location for after-school activities and community events. 

The project boasts an estimated 31% energy cost savings based on the mechanical systems and envelope design, 30% water use reduction from the use of low-flow water fixtures, and a 70% reduction in potable water use for irrigation thanks to a rain garden system and high-efficiency irrigation controllers. Additionally, the light-grey reflective roof includes a rainwater catchment system that drains into the rain garden and eventually into underground recharge tanks, instead of leaving the site through the city's storm drains.

For the East Boston Branch, The Green Engineer:

  • Facilitated a sustainable design charrette for the design team and aided in developing strategies to meet sustainability goals. 
  • Provided full service coordination and management of the LEED documentation and certification process;
  • Reviewed all project specifications and drawings against LEED criteria;
  • Performed energy modeling services to aid in design decisions, with a final iteration for LEED submission. 

Owner: City of Boston, Boston Public Library
Architect: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.
MEP: Cosentini Associates
Contractor: DeIulis Brothers Construction

Photography: Robert Benson


LEED-NC®, v2009 Gold certified