public_sm_libraryThe Santa Monica Main Public Library is a classic design-build project with a modern twist—the project strove for LEED® Silver rating from the United States Green Building Council. The internationally acclaimed Moore, Ruble & Yudell Architects successfully incorporated numerous sustainable building techniques including a construction waste mitigation program.

The library is a 109,000 square feet, two-level, above-grade structure built of cast-in-place and precast concrete elements over a 250,000 square feet three level subterranean parking structure with space for 530 cars. The exterior skin is made with combination of precast concrete curtail walls, metal panels and plaster providing clean modern lines and introducing lots of natural daylighting from numerous operable windows.

public_sm_renderingConcrete was chosen over steel for the majority of structural components because of its sound transmission qualities. This was essential, as the library houses a number of functions well beyond the “stacks and reading rooms.” Building amenities include an auditorium, computer lab, café, courtyards with outdoor stage for performances, community meeting rooms, administration office, and the adjacent Santa Monica Historical Society.

The structural system of the building is supported by spread footings that are typically 14 foot square. Nabih Youssef & Associates designed the suspended floors, with bay size of 30 feet x 30 feet. The garage floor slabs are eight-inch thick and nine-inch thick in the library and are constructed with 5,000 psi conventional reinforced concrete. The lateral system is a moment-resisting concrete frame exposed in the entry hall. public_sm_corner

While most of the 18,000 cubic yards of concrete used is Type II grey cement concrete, some decorative colored concrete accent planter walls in the courtyard, utilizing the experience gained on several prior projects constructed by Morley Builders. Concrete with shells, cool blue tinting, and a sense of the ocean environment compliment the open-nature of this spacious facility. The design team received additional green credits for reusing grey water collected by rooftop and pavement drainage system that leads directly to a filtration system with 200,000-gallon cistern located below the structure.



City of Santa Monica, California

Moore, Ruble & Yudell Architects, Santa Monica, California

Structural Engineer:
Nabih Youssef & Associates, Los Angeles, California

General Contractor:
Morley Construction Company, Santa Monica, California

Concrete Subcontractor:
Morley Construction Company, Santa Monica, California