At a Glance

Austin’s Central Library demonstrates care of the resources it houses, as well as those it uses.

Project Description

The six-story, 198,000-square-foot, LEED Platinum Austin Central Library serves as a model for sustainability and library efficiency while promoting connections to collections, history, culture, and place. Overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake, the building includes outdoor reading porches, maker spaces, a technology center, café, bookstore, event venue, rooftop garden, demonstration kitchen, and outdoor dining.

As a key member of the Lake|Flato/Shepley Bulfinch design team’s “Green Team,” Biohabitats led design and engineering of the library’s water infrastructure. The Green Team’s overarching vision was to create high performance, integrated systems that also tell a story of how resource and energy conservation create a beautiful library.

Biohabitats led concept development on variety of water infrastructure systems, including potable and non-potable supplies, rain harvesting, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, and water reuse systems. Biohabitats worked with the design team to analyze expected use, develop water budgets, conceptualize potential water strategies, evaluate existing onsite infrastructure, and examine site constraints.




Physiographic Province

Blackland Prairie


Shoal Creek

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Water


City of Austin


Austin, Texas, United States


2020 AIA COTE® Top Ten
2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Award
2018 AIA Austin Design Award with Sustainability Commendation
2018 APWA Texas Chapter Project of the Year
2018 Architizer A+ Awards Special Mention, 2018 -ULI Austin Best Project Design Award
2018 Austin Green Awards Project of the Year
2018 Finalist, International Federation of Library Association’s Public Library of the Year Award
2018 Texas Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award
2018 Top Innovator Award from Urban Libraries Council
2018 Named one of the World’s Greatest Places by Time Magazine


Project Team
  • Austin Public Library Foundation
  • Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems
  • City of Austin Staff
  • Clanton & Associates
  • Coleman & Associates
  • Datum Engineers
  • Encotech Engineering
  • Integrated Design Lab
  • Jose I. Guerra Inc.
  • Lake Flato
  • Meridian Energy Systems
  • Monarch Design/Consulting
  • Natural Systems International
  • P.E. Structural Consultants
  • Shepley Bulfinch
  • Supersymmetry
  • Urban Design Group
  • Coleman and Associate
  • Hensel Phelps