Miller Branch – Building Facts

Through its materials and design, the building reflects the community’s historical roots (e.g., Bollman Bridge, Thomas Viaduct, Patapsco River, Ellicott City stone).

Designed to capture the benefits of natural lighting and maximize energy efficiency, the new Miller Branch has been designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council.

63,000 sq. ft.; 470 parking spaces (includes the entire Miller Branch campus: the old branch, new branch, and senior center)

Curriculum-Related Features

Self-Directed Education

250,000 items in the collection, including books, e-books, audiobooks, movies, music, and specialized online research tools
100 public computers, including 12 in the Tech Lab and 17 for quick online catalog searches
Nine study rooms—one in the children’s area, three in the teen area, five on the second floor

Research Assistance & Instruction
Additional Research Desks in Children’s area and on second floor
Children’s Classroom: 800 sq. ft.
Outdoor classrooms: Terrace Overlook and Enchanted Garden
Tech Lab: 700 sq. ft.

Instructive & Enlightening Experiences
3,000 sq. ft. meeting room (seats 300 people); the space can be configured into three classrooms (each seating 100)
History Education. Partnering with the Howard County Historical Society and other organizations, the Historical Center vision will bring history to life through research opportunities, classes, seminars, and events that focus on Howard County and Maryland history. The HCLS Charles E. Miller Branch & Historical Center will become a hub for historical research in Howard County and central Maryland.
Enchanted Garden. A sustainable, community-based teaching garden, the Enchanted Garden will focus on health, nutrition, and environmental education. Situated on the quarter-acre parcel adjacent to the new branch, the garden beds will be used to teach children and adults how to grow edible and indigenous plants. The garden will also supplement HCLS’ systemwide focus on STEM and environmental education. The Enchanted Garden is scheduled to open in May of 2012.

LEED Features

Certification factors include water conservation features, energy efficient HVAC and lighting design, recycled and local materials, recycling of materials during construction, healthy indoor air quality, low VOC materials, sustainable site design, outdoor environmental features, and access to public transportation.

The green vegetative roof absorbs rainwater, conserves energy and roofing materials, mitigates the heat island effect, and provides an aesthetically pleasing environment. The sedum species, which is ideal for planting on green roofs due to its hardy nature and water retention capabilities, is also beautiful. Sedum varieties grow in star-shaped clusters. They are available in a wide range of textures and colors (we have planted red, yellow and yellow-green varieties).

A Photo Voltaic array (72 solar panels) on the south facing roof generates up to 16 kilowatts of energy per day.

The “river of lights” in the bulkhead on the first floor comprises LED lights, which burn fewer watts than a typical 200 watt light in the average home.

Each 4 ft. section of lights above the book stacks on the second floor uses two 32-watt lamps. An entire light fixture (top and bottom) uses fewer watts than four 75-watt bulbs in a typical residential living room.

Light settings can be adjusted depending on outdoor light, a means to use less energy during daylight hours when the sun is providing natural light.

Gravel filled rainwater filtering cisterns enhance the building’s storm water management system by slowing rainwater runoff. The cisterns catch the water from the glass covered roof canopy, preventing land erosion while filtering the water as it travels to the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay before returning the earth’s water table.

Throughout construction, the ecosystem of the nearby stream was preserved.