King LEED 1 Sustainable Sites

How does the building relate to its environment and social network?

Erosion and Sediment Control / Site and Exterior Management Plan

Outdoor Drain near sidewalk

Preventing soil loss preserves local air and water quality.

The King Library site is maintained according to best management practices for avoiding loss of soil through water run-off and wind erosion.

In addition, the site has a low-impact site and exterior management plan for:

  • Planting less thirsty plants
  • Animal and vegetation controlled by integrated pest management
  • Landscape waste chipped and composted
  • Minimal irrigation and no overspray
  • Reduced need for fertilizer due to the use of mulching mowers
  • Manual snow removal, never chemical
  • Choice of exterior building materials which do not require cleaning or painting
  • Paints and sealants used on building comply with air management district requirements for less-toxic solvents (Low volatile organic compounds)

Re-Use of Site / Reduced Site Disturbance


Carnegie Library in 1903

The first library to occupy the corner of 4th and San Fernando Streets was the 1903 Carnegie Library.

The choice of this site demonstrates a sustainable use of land resources:

  • The City of San Jose Main Public Library and San Jose State Library share a single site.
  • This site has hosted a library building for over 100 years.
  • The eight story building minimizes the building footprint and avoids duplication of mechanical systems and maintenance.
  • City and campus patrons benefit from shared resources.
  • Both the City and SJSU re-purposed previous library buildings as offices, avoiding the need for additional building.

High Density Urban Environment

350_siteplan1/2 mile radius circle shows dense urban site with many essential services within walking distance.

The choice of a building site in the city core means that virgin land was not destroyed.

The existing city infrastructure and dense urban environment enable staff and patrons to access the following types essential services within a 1/2 mile radius, leading to fewer private vehicle trips.

  • Child Care
  • Grocery Store
  • Bank
  • Place of Worship
  • Convenience Store
  • Senior Care
  • Dentist
  • Park
  • Post Office
  • Museum
  • School
  • Pharmacy
  • Theater
  • Gym
  • Convention Center

Alternative Transportation

350_bus_stopKing library site is served by many bus lines making it easy for school children to get there on their own.

There are many ways to get to King Library that do not involve driving a private automobile.

  • Four bus lines stop right outside the library.
  • Dozens of bus lines serve the transit hub 1/4 mile away.
  • Bicycle racks are available for patrons.
  • Secure bicycle parking and showers are available for employees.
  • Carpools and vanpools are sponsored by the City and SJSU.
  • The City parking lot across the street features preferential parking spaces with fueling stations for electric vehicles.

Heat Island Reduction

350_light_color_roofKing Library, upper left, has a light color roof and reflective pavement.

The site design includes elements to minimize the "heat island effect." This occurs when dark surface materials absorb light from the sun and become warm, which creates a warmer environment in a city in comparison to the less-developed areas surrounding it.

Heat islands affect the microclimate and can influence air temperature, winds and precipitation.

Elements of this site that mitigate the heat island effect include:

  • Reflective/light color roofing material
  • Reflective/light color pavement
  • Increased site vegetation
  • Parking areas under buildings or in multi-story structures rather than parking lots

LEED Credit Categories