Concrete masonry is essential to the aesthetic, functional, and structural elements of the Cesar Chavez Library. The building is designed to preserve the environmental quality of its landscape. Its arced form, made possible by center-scored concrete block, curves around a nearby lake and into an earth mound in Cesar Chavez Park.

The concrete masonry contributes thermal mass, fire-resistance, long life, and low maintenance costs. Extended concrete masonry walls allow the building to blend into the park's landscape to retain earth, serve as a windbreak, and provide shade to outdoor areas. Concrete block is also a locally sourced material, saving the energy and cost of transportation.

To accomplish sustainability in the harsh Sonoran Desert climate, the library includes many energy saving features, such as strategic solar orientation and rainwater collection and storage. It is expected to receive LEED silver certification and serve as an example of environmental awareness in the community.

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Project Participants

Owner: City of Phoenix, Ariz.

Architect: Line and Space, Tucson, Ariz.

Masonry Contractor: Sutter Masonry Inc., El Mirage, Ariz.

General Contractor: Linthicum Constructors Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.

Masonry Supplier: Quality Block Co., Phoenix, Ariz.