The Halifax Library is a community centre and civic landmark. A centerpiece of the Capital District, the exterior was designed to mimic a stack of books. Built to LEED Gold standards, sustainable practices are at the core of the Halifax Library. The library is truly sustainable and was built to last, adapt to the changing needs of the community, have a minimal environmental impact and support the social and cultural needs of the community. The five story atrium consists of a labyrinth of stairs and bridges connecting the floors. Due to the high level of natural light from the skylight and glass façade, a level V finish throughout the building was imperative in order to showcase the sharp lines and world class design.
Halifax Central Library
The Halifax Library is a community center and civic landmark. A centerpiece of the Capital District, the exterior was designed to mimic a stack of books. Built to LEED Gold standards, the library is truly sustainable and was built to adapt to the changing needs of the community while minimizing its environmental impact.
Built to LEED Gold Standards, sustainable practices are at the core of the Halifax library. The library was built to last, be able to respond to changing program needs, reduce its environmental impact and support the social and cultural needs of the community.
- Responsible Material Selection
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Energy and Water Efficiency
- Sustainable Site Development
- Innovative Design
The building has a unique cantilevered glass box design. Due to the off-set floors and time it took to construct them, interior drywall had to begin before the building was fully sealed.
- The roof’s skylight was put into place last, long after the drywall and finishing started in other areas of the building.
- M2Tech Drywall and finishing products were extensively used throughout the building for enhanced moisture and mold protection.
- GlasRoc was installed under the overhangs and clad with perforated metal soffit.
The atrium of the library spans five stories and consists of a labyrinth of stairs and bridges connecting the floors. Before installation, the crew had to understand the atypical structure of the building and the angles of the stairs and bridges to ensure the drywall and insulation was installed properly.
Throughout the installation multiple trades worked at the same time to complete their respective jobs. Due to the layout of the library scaffolding throughout the atrium was required for each trade and had to be installed, removed and moved multiple times to finish one area.
Level 5 Finish
A perfect finish was needed as over 90% of the exterior building is glass and a large skylight runs the length of the atrium illuminating the sharp angles of the bridges and stairs. Two finishers skim coated the entire library to achieve a level 5 finish.
Due to the many trades working together, the skim coating of one area could not be achieved all at one time, for example, the drywall panel that runs the length of the skylight was skimmed in 10 parts. Care needed to be taken to ensure the entire library was skimmed.
- All crews worked together and adapted to the unusual construction site.
- Worked to understand and install drywall and insulation with the atypical ceiling, angles & atypical mechanical and electrical systems.
- Eco-design and future thought in material selection, construction, use, occupant comfort, and environmental impact.
- LEED Gold Certified.
- Plaques and educational pieces are available to learn about sustainable construction and products.
- Saint-Gobain worked with Tartan to manage the project and track weather conditions to ensure no weather related damage or issues arose.
- Construction of the 5-story atrium, stairs and bridges.
- Large, open space demanded close attention to contractor safety during drywall installation and finishing stages.
- The exterior of the building is 90% glass, allowing a high amount of natural light in. The interior walls were all skim coated to achieve a level 5 finish.
Building Owner: Halifax Regional Municipality
Architect: Fowler Bauld and Mitchell
Main Contractor: Ellis Don
Drywall Contractor: Tartan Interiors
Photographer: James Ingram
Saint-Gobain Team: Russell Mackinnon
Tartan Interiors Limited of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a leading interior contractor in Canada that specializes in drywall, acoustic ceiling units, acoustic ceiling suspension, non-load bearing wall framing, load bearing steel stud assemblies and rough carpentry. Offering an experienced team of estimators, project managers and site foreman directing a skilled workforce, Tartan Interiors provides in-depth knowledge of the trade. During their almost 40 years of operation, Tartan has been involved in almost every major building project in Nova Scotia.
CertainTeed Products in the Halifax Library