Sustainability has been an integral part of the design of the Concord Free Public Library since the outset of the project. Ensuring that the project enhances our environment is a priority of the Library and a matter of practice for Johnson Roberts Associates, our architects. As such, the design team and the Library have worked to incorporate elements and principles of sustainability and resiliency throughout the project:

  • In keeping with the principle that the greenest building is the one that already exists, the project will involve the adaptive reuse of the historic 222-year-old Heywood-Benjamin House, connecting it with the historic Library building. This will allow both structures and the energy embodied in their construction to continue to serve the community for generations to come.
  • The expansion will be primarily wood-framed, with a mass timber structure. In addition to being a renewable resource, wood stores embodied carbon, making it much more sustainable than traditional steel construction.
  • The building systems will be high efficiency and entirely electric, with no fossil fuels at the expansion. This means that the building’s carbon footprint will go down as the electric grid becomes greener, and is in keeping with Concord Municipal Light Plant’s goals.
  • An energy model of the expansion was performed during the design process to evaluate various envelope and building systems options. Based on that energy model, the expansion is expected to use 48% less energy per square foot than the baseline library project in the United States.
  • The south-facing sloped roof of the Story/Craft Room will be “solar-ready,” with space reserved for a future photovoltaic array.
  • The building and landscape are designed to work harmoniously, with the Commons and Children’s Library open to the garden. This will provide a learning tool for library patrons, especially younger ones, helping to foster an appreciation for the environment.
  • All new plants will be either native, considered “naturalized”, and/or have proven records of thriving with minimal care and watering after establishment.
  • There will be no permanent underground irrigation system.
  • Many of the plants will provide a rich habitat for birds and butterflies.


For questions, please email Marcy at