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Gaithersburg Library Frequently Asked Questions

18330 Montgomery Village Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
240-773-9490
Branch Manager: Kay Bowman

Fact Sheet

Building Map Mapa de la Biblioteca

The stone-type panels on the exterior of the building have no caulking between the joints. There are systems that don't require caulking, but they are rarely used. Those rare systems somehow channel water back out that gets in through the joints and then behind the panels. If we don't have that rare kind of system, water entering through the joints will cause failure of the facing panels, possibly within 2 years.

Why are there spaces designated in the library parking lot for fuel efficient cars?

The newly renovated Gaithersburg Library building faces south. Why are there no solar panels installed?


 

The stone-type panels on the exterior of the building have no caulking between the joints. There are systems that don't require caulking, but they are rarely used. Those rare systems somehow channel water back out that gets in through the joints and then behind the panels. If we don't have that rare kind of system, water entering through the joints will cause failure of the facing panels, possibly within 2 years.

The exterior panels are called rain screens and are Fiber Cement Boards. The system is called a rain screen, and it is a carefully designed and time tested exterior wall cladding type. The actual waterproof membrane is behind the panels and insulation. The panels are the skin that protects the insulation and waterproofing and gives the wall a clean appearance. The reason there is no caulking between the joints, is because the space behind the fiber cement panels is intended to drain and breath.

Why are there spaces designated in the library parking lot for fuel efficient cars?

The car signs are in keeping with LEED requirements. The County was required by law to provide a minimum LEED Silver building in the construction of the newly renovated Gaithersburg Library. It was important for the design to achieve points for as many green initiatives as possible. The parking signs are an incentive to promote the use of energy efficient vehicles.

The newly renovated Gaithersburg Library building faces south. Why are there no solar panels installed?

The Gaithersburg Library is the County’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Library and represents the County’s commitment to sustainable construction and operations. When developing the design of this sustainable building, the Department of General Services (DGS) worked to leverage the maximum sustainable benefits in the most economical manner possible.

An analysis, during design, for the use of the photovoltaic (PV) solar panels as part of the original construction, provided a pay back period of approximately 27 years. The reason for this long pay back period is that the County does not enjoy the benefits of the various tax code provisions and credits and other financial benefits that would lead to the direct economic purchase and operation of the PV panels. Therefore, the County invested in other forms of sustainable construction as part of the base construction of the library.

Though a LEED Gold award was achieved for the Gaithersburg Library, DGS believes that the County needs to look forward and find ways to capture opportunities to increase sustainable construction and operations. Therefore, DGS is seeking a Request for Energy Proposal (RFEP) to establish Public-Private Partnership (P3) opportunities to have private companies to place PV panels on multiple County facilities, including the Gaithersburg Library, depending on feasibility.

Under this arrangement, the private entities would then own, maintain, and, if necessary, replace, the PV panels, for which the County will then buy the renewable power for a fixed fee basis per kilowatt hour. This P3 approach allows the County, in these times of fiscal constraints, to maximize sustainable building and provide fiscally responsible and predictable use of County financial resources.

The responses to the RFEP are due shortly, and the roll out of the renewable energy program will occur over the next year, with the signing of the P3 contracts, the design, and then the installation of the systems. DGS anticipates using the P3 approach more broadly in the future to expand clean energy use in County facilities (e.g., solar water heating).