No Fear of Huffing and Puffing Wolves in Naturita

Congratulations to the Naturita Public Library, which just had its grand opening! 

Ribbon cutting ceremony

Naturita is the first library in Colorado (and the second in the US) to use straw bale construction.  They’ve even glassed over part of the 14 inch thick wall to show people the layers of straw and mudded straw with plastic lathe in between, the scratch coat which uses adobe soil from the site, the top coat of mud and straw, and the finish.

Paul Paladino and BCR's Brenda Bailey-Hainer by the teaching wall

The outside is lime plaster mixed with sand and crushed glass, then lime, and a lime wash which actually absorbs carbon dioxide.

The Naturita Library

Despite what the Three Little Pigs fable implies, straw bale is a sturdy construction method which multiplies the insulation properties of typical walls.  And this isn’t all that’s green about the library – using the temperature of the earth below, the GeoExchange heating and cooling system should save the library a third of its energy costs.   And they even use recycled blue jeans for insulation.

Fireproof recycled demin insulation material

Part of the Montrose (CO) Regional Library District, at 500 square feet, the old Naturita library was one of the smallest in Colorado.  At 4,400 square feet, the new library will have a much larger collection (funded in part by money they’ve saved building with straw) and a community meeting room, giving the locals an alternative to meeting at a bar.  And now, they’ll actually be able to hold programs and storytimes inside!

The library cost 1.26 million to build and was funded by an Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance grant, taxes and foundation monies.  Residents had a chance to inspect the facility on August 7th.  Tours were given and there was a community barbecue with live music afterwards.  And of course their book cart drill team showed off their best moves.

Naturita's book cart drill team

For more details, listen to the interview with Paul Paladino, the District’s director (do a search on Naturita).

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7 Responses to No Fear of Huffing and Puffing Wolves in Naturita

  1. Pingback: On The Same Page » New Colorado Straw-Bale Library

  2. Micki says:

    Congrats on the new library! Using straw, how cool is that!

  3. TJS says:

    You don’t write a book review without mentioning the author…

    So don’t tell me how awesome a building is without crediting the architect

  4. jshaffner says:

    Sorry, I do that a lot as the library’s board, staff etc. are the ones who really put the project together see (esp. the section starting”NCL’s green building”) Though it looks like these folks did have a hand in it

  5. Pingback: These are a few of our favorite things (at public libraries) | The Librarian is In

  6. The architecture firm is Patrik Davis Associates. John Eloe created the original plans, and the draftsman was Shane Brown.

  7. jshaffner says:

    Thanks for the info Amy!

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