So, you have met with a library building specialist from the MBLC, discussed the potential for a major library building improvement projects with your board and local officials, and are increasing your visibility in the community. What next?
This depends upon the amount of money you want to invest prior to the possibility of receiving a planning and design grant. Most libraries take one of two approaches:
Taking a building science approach, engineers and/or architects can conduct a facility assessment of your building. They evaluate and report on such building components as HVAC systems, air quality control and building envelope. This information helps to build a case for the need for major facility improvements, demonstrate the seriousness of the library to improve the facility, the project, and make cost effective decisions. How much it costs to do a facility condition assessment varies depending of the scope of work required, size, age and complexity of your building. Having a study done could defray costs that would be incurred anyway, later in a project's design phase.
Building codes are standards designed to assure the safety, health, accessibility and general public welfare of new and existing buildings and other structures. Massachusetts' designers, engineers and builders must use the current edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code and all its amendments and related requirements. Having a code compliance review of your library facility done helps you to understand your building and its shortcomings, and helps you to build a case for a major capital improvement project. A code review compliments a facility condition assessment and rounds out the profile of your building.
Code compliance reviews are typically done by an architectural firm. Just like the facility conditions assessment, the cost of doing a code review will vary by the scope of the code review, the size, age and complexity of the building.