Re: “Green Lake library in Seattle closing until 2024 for seismic retrofit” [Jan. 29, Local News]:

Seattle is getting used to treelessness. The Green Lake library had seven full-day closures and 14 closures for part of the day last summer for heat, and will now get electric heat pump air conditioning. Yet the hottest, west-facing side of the building is fully exposed to the sun and has only one small ornamental cherry tree in the middle of a lawn.

If a thoughtfully chosen large shade tree were in that spot, the library’s indoor temperature could be as much as five degrees lower on a hot day. Preserving and planting substantial shade trees can reduce our reliance on artificial cooling, which strains the power grid.

Integrating natural cooling through trees should be part of every building plan.

Sandy Shettler, Seattle