Gunnison County Libraries was looking to replace its existing library in Gunnison, Colorado, with a new sustainable building providing flexible and functional community space. The 15,000-square-foot public facility also needed to stand up to the harsh and variable weather conditions experienced in Gunnison. The high-elevation mountain sun is intense all year round, while winter ambient temperatures in the Gunnison Valley can drop below negative 30 degrees. In addition to cold temps, deep and heavy snow is common, so careful design of the roof systems was critical to handle snow and ice.
Anderson Hallas Architects created the new library design, along with a team of engineers, sustainability consultants, and landscape designers. 360 Engineering provided mechanical and plumbing engineering services, including energy modeling and assistance in achieving sustainability goals for the project. The energy-efficient mechanical system combined geothermal ground source heat pumps and a variable air volume dedicated outside air system (VAV DOAS) with new DDC controls. The plumbing design and fixtures for the building included restrooms and a warming kitchen for events and community gatherings.