Cedar Rapids Public Library

NV5 served as commissioning agent for the new central library including an auditorium, café, conference center, and roof garden plaza. The building features extensive energy efficient design features, including an open loop geothermal system with several central variable air volume air handlers. To protect the new building from flooding, which had destroyed the old library, the building was raised ~5 feet off ground level with no basement and all utilities located on the upper level.

The innovative, efficient geothermal heating and cooling system presented issues that involved the entire team including the equipment manufacturer, who collaborated to get the modular heat pump functioning correctly for facility operations, resolving nuisance system trips that required manual reset.

NV5 joined early in the design process, providing expertise in building systems and the LEED certification process to guide the design and construction to meet LEED requirements and client vision. During the design phase, the NV5 team continually asked who would be maintaining the building, so that they could have a voice in the design. Given the team’s insistence on that need, the city, who was unsure at the outset, eventually made a choice, allowing its maintenance team to have a voice and to work with NV5 to prepare for a smooth turnover.


Cedar Rapids, IA


City of Cedar Rapids


Key Facts

  • 95,000 GSF
  • Project Cost $27M