City of Austin New Central Library

Austin, Texas

The City of Austin’s New Central Library was developed along West Cesar Chavez Street, at the Seaholm District. The new iconic lakefront structure, already labeled by the media as one of the city's "civic game-changers," hosts open library spaces, staff support areas, and unfinished space for future expansion. With over 198,000 square-foot, this six-floor new building replaced the John Henry Faulk Central Library. 

The new library facility also includes a 250-space underground parking garage, and on-site cafe/restaurant facing the Butterfly Bridge at Second Street and Shoal Creek, and outdoor landscaped area, as well as a 350-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, study rooms, a children’s program area, and a teen center. There is also a design for a new office for personnel in the Austin Independent School District service center, including new offices for campus police, the fire alarm workshop, and archives. A new office for grounds keeping staff was also designed. Because the existing site did not have space for condensing units, the new buildings were designed with packaged heat pump units.

Encotech Engineering Consultants, Inc. was contracted to design the plumbing systems for the entire building and provide construction phase services for the installation of all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The plumbing design featured a rainwater collection and distribution system and energy efficient plumbing for high-rise buildings. This project required coordination of site utilities on zero lot line.

The electrical service to the site was also upgraded to power the new buildings with limited impact to the existing buildings. Site lighting was added to the parking lot near the new offices. Diffusers located in the existing main reception area were rebalanced to provide proper air distribution. The New Central Library is being designed to achieve LEED® Gold Certification.