Athol, MA

Athol Public Library


By 1919, Andrew Carnegie’s donations of more than $40 million paid for 1,679 library buildings throughout the United States. The town of Athol sought to renovate its 1918 Carnegie library, which provides meeting space and houses the town’s historic documents and book collection. The project included renovation of the existing 8,000 sq ft building and a new, two-story wing that added nearly 16,000 sq ft. SGH was the building enclosure commissioning agent for the project, which earned the first-ever LEED platinum certification for a historic public library.

The project addressed accessibility, upgraded technology, and developed new spaces, including a children’s room and teenagers’ area, a larger and more modern community meeting room, quiet study areas, and conference rooms.SGH helped manage a quality assurance-oriented process for achieving, verifying, and documenting that the building enclosure performance meets the defined criteria. Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Developed a building enclosure commissioning (BECx) plan and testing specifications for building enclosure systems, including below-grade waterproofing, exterior wall components and fenestration, roofing, and transition details between systems
  • Conducted peer reviews of the building enclosure design and provided recommendations to help the project team achieve the specified performance requirements
  • Made periodic site visits to compare the design intent with construction of an on-site mockup and building walls, windows, and roofs

As the BECx agent, SGH utilized our historic preservation and building enclosure engineering capabilities to assist the project team with the following:

  • Achieving high performance from restored, replacement, and new windows
  • Evaluating the effects of insulating the existing mass masonry walls
  • Designing reliable waterproofing transitions between the new wing and the existing building

Project Summary



Completion Date


Construction Value


Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures
Culture & Entertainment
Athol Public Library
Specialized Capabilities
Building Science | Commissioning

Key team members

Joshua Kivela
Joshua Kivela
Michael Louis
Michael Louis
Senior Principal