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Introduction

Libraries are generally housed in low- to mid-rise commercial buildings. While their use is similar to that of an office, they may often contain repositories for rare and/or valuable manuscripts. They are also one of the most important community facilities after emergency facilities. There are 209 public libraries in New York City, split between the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Public Library. Sixteen of these buildings are located within the five SIRR flood zones.


Special Resilience Considerations


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The Coney Island Branch of the BPL had to be gut renovated after Sandy.
Flood Events

Generally, libraries are mostly office-type space, so dry floodproofing techniques should predominate to protect the books and computers stored within.

High Wind Events
Like other commercial buildings with flat roofs, careful consideration should be given to securing loose materials on the exterior of the building to ensure that they do not become missiles. One example of an exterior architectural element that should be secured for hurricane force wind is rooftop pavers - typical of commerical buildings. Special care should be taken to anchor any exterior mechanical or service equipment that is a component of communications or building services that are essential to the building's functioning.

Power Outages
Utility systems design should be designed to accommodate power failure events that occur in any weather condition. Solar PV could run generators and emergency lighting, as well as just be a "green" source of energy throughout the year. This could serve as a great community learning incubator.

Other Upgrades

In addition to disaster resilience, attention should also be paid to everyday use. For this reason, the use of low- or no-VOC materials and "active design" should be considered. This is especially true in the case of a use in which a large portion of the users are the young and seniors.



References