The Costa Mesa branch of the Orange County Public Library sits in the heart of Lions Park. This new 24,000 sq.ft., two-story, LEED Gold certified library is a stunning example of flamboyant mid-20th century modernist architecture. Unique design elements include a spiraled stone staircase, expansive windows that let in gorgeous streams of natural light and Raised Access Floors with high-end finishes for convenient underfloor air and service distribution and increased flexibility.
Raised Access Floors with Underfloor Air Distribution are a great solution for building designs like the library that feature large windows and unique architectural elements. By placing the air distribution equipment under the floors instead of overhead, the library’s designers were able to incorporate higher ceilings, bigger windows and other architectural elements into their plan. Underfloor Air is also better for indoor air quality, since the air rises from the floor up, pulling contaminants away from library patrons. Additionally, we were able to utilize three different raised floor panel grades throughout the facility to accommodate the varying load weight changes that are common in libraries. This is a more cost-effective option, rather than unnecessarily accommodating the heaviest load performance requirement throughout the whole facility and gives the library the flexibility to rearrange the space as needed in the future.
Steve Johnson, President of Johnson Favaro, explains how Underfloor Air Distribution helped the architecture firm achieve its goals. “The Costa Mesa Library utilizes a Tate raised floor system that provides several environmental benefits as well as contributes to the energy-efficient sustainable design strategy that resulted in a LEED Gold certification. Conditioned air is supplied by way of evenly distributed floor registers served by ductwork and equipment located in the raised floor plenum. In this way, greater interior comfort is provided to library patrons by cooled or heated air being delivered at floor level rather than supplied from distant ceiling mounted registers. This scheme enabled us to reduce the size of air handling equipment as a smaller volume of conditioned air is supplied where it is needed in contrast with a higher volume of air blown from a distant ceiling location. Reduced equipment size, reduced initial construction cost as well as on-going maintenance and energy costs.”