KAI Texas Earns LEED® Gold for Dallas Highland Hills Library


KAI Texas is pleased to share Dallas’ Highland Hills Library has been awarded LEED® Gold.



The City of Dallas selected KAI to perform full design services for the nearly 20,000 SF state-of-the-art facility located on a 5-acre parcel in southeast Dallas. It replaces an existing, smaller branch library, greatly enhancing services to the local community.


The 19,500-square-foot building is one of the larger libraries built in Dallas and one of seven LEED Certified libraries in the Dallas Public Library system. Natural light permeates the interiors supplemented by energy-efficient LED lighting on cloudy days and evenings. The north façade curves with floor to ceiling glazing overlooking indigenous xeriscape landscaping for additional natural light and a relaxing seating reading environment. The building was oriented to take advantage of prevailing winds and solar exposure assisting the reduction of utilities usage enhancing the sustainable features reducing operational and life-cycle costs.


“Building a LEED Gold library wasn't just about earning the certification,” Darren L. James, AIA, says. “We worked with city officials to create a sustainable library because it is smart design that creates a healthy and safe environment for library patrons. In doing so, this library also serves as an environmental example and reduces operational costs for the city of Dallas and taxpayers.”


“The success of the Highland Hills library is a true testament of the hard work put forth by every member of the team,” said Pamela Todd, Senior Interior Designer, KAI Texas. “Earning this certification was due to the collective commitment from everyone on the team to earn the highest number of points, and follow through on our commitment to build design a sustainable library.”

The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.


“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The Highland Hills Library project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”


The library has 24 public computers, Wi-Fi access and self-checkout stations to enhance users’ experiences. The large community room can host performing arts events, presentations, speeches, and organizational and club meetings. This makes the library a true asset to the surrounding community. Video and audio recording with playback equipment are unique features that expand community-learning opportunities. A 1.5-acre outdoor space adds to the library’s offerings and encourages outdoor reading and community gatherings.


KAI utilized BIM to produce a working model of the facility to enhance communication and collaboration between the design team and the library administration.