British Council Library Design | By Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates | LEED GOLD Certified

Project : British Council Library

Location: Lahore, Pakistan .

Project Year : 2016

Principal Architect : Raza Ali Dada

Design Team: Aaliya Ashraf






The British Council Lahore Library has been constructed in an energy efficient design that saves 35% on water, air-conditioning and lighting. The premises relies mostly on natural light during the day, and has a green roof that contributes to the environment and minimizes heat. The building has been awarded LEED Gold Certification from United States Green Building Council – USGBC.


This makes it Pakistan’s first LEED-certified public building and the first LEED project in Lahore.

The site consisted of an old building from 1911, a garden and an existing Older Library Building. The older building material was recycled for new building . The library was deigned in such a way that it provided multi functional space which could host  various programs.

The library has been converted from a non-functional existing structure into a modern but open building, responding to its strong context. The new British Council Library presents uniqueness and features a rare garden space in this part of the city.

The design of the library follows the brief that requires a flexible and efficient space. The British Council intends to create a new typology of libraries, which address the technological and environmental realities of today and the perceived future. The program also calls for a multi functional space so that the Library can host various programs within the same space.

The design approaches the brief by enabling the user to have a simple and desirable experience such as reading a book by the window looking onto a landscape. In doing so, other elements of the library building are simplified and left exposed – much like the landscape. The physical attributes of the building become visually non-essential. The large window reflects the garden into itself and tends to turn the structure into a ‘non-building’ as it presents itself as a window into the library or one into the landscape depending on whether you are inside or sitting in the outdoors.

A large window provides users an amazing experience while sitting beside it looking onto landscape . The interior of the library is simplified and left exposed providing a minimal touch .

Recycle paper is used to form ceiling baffles (louvers) wrapped in jute for sound absorption.Most of the materials are provided locally for this project which ads a credit for LEED certification.The exposed Concrete ceiling, Jute wapped panels and brick flooring  compliments the adjacent landscape and historical context.

The Mechanical systems in the project are highly efficient. The temperature control systems and lighting automatically adjust for best lighting and temperature . Energy-saving fixtures labeled as Green star minimise water use while a green roof on the building helps to reduce heat gains and water runoff.


Project Schematics 

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods that aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.


A project pursuing LEED certification must satisfy all Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs), prerequisites and a minimum number of credits as described in the applicable rating system.

LEED has 4 BASIC certifications .

Project Certification Levels
• Certified: 40-49 points
• Silver: 50-59 points
• Gold: 60-79 points
• Platinum: 80+ points

Green Building Design Principles

Integrated Design Approach:

The Integrated Design Process (IDP) is essential in achieving sustainable goals. Whole Building or Holistic Design approaches result in forward- thinking sustainable designs. Integrated Design depends on concepts such as:

  • Integrated Project Delivery
  • Integrated Project Team
  • Systems Thinking Approach
  • Life Cycle Approach


The concept of Green building Design is to minimize total building energy consumption through series of design strategies. Following green building strategies must be considered:




The orientation of the building is defined by the sun moment. It is the major key which defines the heat gain.

  • East/West facades of the building will receives the maximum heat from the sun in summer . It is preferred t to have minimum glazing. Vertical louvers or fins are most effective for east/west facades.
  • Horizontal louvers should be used to shade the sun on Southern Facades. The sun angle is high at noon ,Horizontal shades are effective on southern facades of the building.
  • North Elevation receives the minimum Sun Light and almost no direct light in winters.

Therefore its best to have offices facing south with horizontal shades as it will minimize the artificial lighting.


Proper orientation helps to reduce heat load which reduces energy load in cooling the building. Use of Lighting sensors  in offices helps to reduce the use of artificial lighting.  Efficient HVAC equipment are in market which have low energy consumption. Variable refrigerant flow technology helps to minimize he energy consumption.

Minimizing heat intake on roof by providing GREEN ROOFS. 60 % OF heat intake in building is though roof.  Using Roof insulation greatly reduce the heat intake.

Walls must be constructed with hollow concrete blocks as  Air is a great insulator of heat.


Water consumption in building can be reduced efficient fixtures.

For example Water closets with GREEN label use less water per flush. Hence reducing the overall water requirement  for the building.

One of the other technique is the Reuse water. Water from wash basin and shower cabins is knows as gray water and is considered fit for landscape and irrigation  purpose. Hence reducing the amount sewerage .



Waste management is simply known as recycling. Providing different waste bins for waste which is then send to recycling is an important part of GREEN BUILDING.

  • Recycling Bin for plastic bottles
  • recycling bin for Paper
  • Recycling bin for Tissue Paper.

Waste management is not only part of building maintenance  and operation,  it is also be considered during building construction.


Indoor air quality is an important aspect in a green building approach especially in a healthcare project.

Using Low VOC’S paints, adhesives,  Vinyl flooring and Green Label Carpets provide better indoor air quality and improves the habitats health. Indoor air quality also means providing efficient lighting, Cooling & Heating.

Extra lighting and cooling can be disturbing and increase Energy load of the building. Smart building



Info-360 is an Online Architecture Projects Directory which has evolved into a Complete Portal to Pakistan Architecture, Construction , Real Estate and Academics. It was Started Back in 2014 by Architect Abdul Ahad ,Graduated from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore . The Idea Behind info-360 is to provide a single platform for Architects,Contractors ,Students to Display their work and Business Profile and to create a 1- Stop Information source for Visitors.

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