digital edition

White Tank Branch Library & Nature Center

Waddell, Arizona
DWL Architects + Planners
LEED for New Construction v 2.2
White Tank Branch Library & Nature Center
Photo © Bill Timmerman

White Tank Branch Library & Nature Center.


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Gross area: 29,000 ft2 (Library 25,000 & Nature Center 4,000)

Date completed: November 2010

Profile: This public library and nature center is located at the entrance to a large regional park in Maricopa County that includes 25 miles of trails open to hikers, equestrians, and bikers. Books are organized in the main room, which offers panoramic views of the adjacent mountain range. Computers available to the public, specialized media areas, and a central service desk support the main space. The large room handles all public functions except meetings and story time, which occur in the multi-use room. The adjoining nature center includes a gift shop, information center, and animal habitat room where the public can view live reptiles native to the park.

Energy-saving innovation: A 228-panel photovoltaic collector array covers half of the roof and provides about 27 percent of the building’s power. The rest of the power brought to the site is green-e certified, which verifies it comes from clean energy sources. Windows lining the semicircular library room open and provide daylight to the activity areas. These windows are top quality, energy-efficient, 1” dual-pane insulated glazing units with a high-performance Low-E coating. Sixteen-foot-long vertical concrete shade fins and deep, perforated metal overhangs self-shade the building. The building also has an automated photocell system to automatically raise and lower the shades to adjust light levels.


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