The world’s first green library for children opened its doors on 31 May 2013 in Singapore at its Central Public Library. Conceptualised and built with environmental sustainability in mind, the library – called “My Tree House” – is the first in the world to be built on environmental principles from design and infrastructure to the use of sustainable material.
The library was awarded the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum Award in May, an established rating system that rates environmental design and performance. Eco-friendly building materials such as energy-efficient LED lighting, refurbished bookshelves and sustainable carpets were used. The visually-arresting centrepiece in the library is a treehouse whose canopy is made from more than 3,000 recycled plastic bottles collected from the public.
The library, a collaboration between the National Library Board (NLB) and Singapore-listed developer City Developments Limited (CDL), was opened by the Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim. Speaking at the launch, Dr Yaacob said the green library was a “wonderful achievement” and that the government wants to encourage as many buildings as possible to achieve energy-efficient targets. He noted that there are about 45,000 books in this library, a third of which are green-themed covering on animals, plants, nature, water, weather, environment, recycling, and climate change.
Children at My Tree House can learn about the environment through a multi-sensory experience, which includes a ‘knowledge tree’ which is a shadow play wall, to learn about the environment and energy conservation.