Photo by Sanmeet Chahil on Unsplash
This article was written by Kyle Bowman, and edited by Kimberley R. Barker.
As you enter the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, you will notice that the lighting is much brighter; if you settle in for a socially-distanced study session, you’ll notice that the room temperatures are more consistent throughout the entire space. Over a year ago, the Library’s Administrative Manager, Kyle Bowman, building on the work of the Library’s Green Team (a group of Library faculty and staff committed to reducing energy consumption and wastefulness), initiated a feasibility study to identify steps for lowering the energy consumption and utility costs for the Library. Kyle recruited the University of Virginia’s Delta Force– a team of UVA engineers, technicians and specialists whose expertise is energy and water conservation– to provide an assessment and recommend a plan to, among other things, lower current energy consumption, improve air filtration systems and HVAC efficiency, and lessen the Library’s overall environmental impact.
The Library was eager to work with Delta Force because of its proven, results-driven efforts; in a "UVA Today" article from 2018, Jesse Warren, sustainability program manager for buildings and operations in the University of Virgina’s Office for Sustainability, said of Delta Force:
“ ‘Because of Delta Force, there is about 67% energy cost savings at Clark Hall, reducing the annual energy expense from around $1.2 million to about $450,000, and preventing the emission of over 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year,’ said Jesse Warren, sustainability program manager for buildings and operations in the University of Virgina’s Office for Sustainability.”
Delta Force has worked on approximately 65 University buildings, which collectively account for almost 47% of the University’s energy use.
Over the last eight months facilities technicians worked tirelessly along with members of Facilities Management’s Building Optimization Team (a cross-collaborative team of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning [HVAC] and controls technicians, plumbers, and electricians) to retrofit the Library and install the new equipment that made these improvements possible. Conveniently, much of the work was accomplished while the Library was physically closed to the public during Tier Three of the Pandemic Operational Plan- a silver lining to the Library’s closure, as the work would undoubtedly have caused some inconvenience to visitors.
The project addressed two main areas: HVAC and Lighting, and the following are examples of some of the improvements in each:
Further, as part of the Library’s commitment to its overall “greening” efforts, the following practices have been/will be implemented:
It is the Library’s goal to earn UVA’s Green Workplace Certification at the Silver level; thanks to the combined efforts of the Green Team, Kyle, and Delta Force, the Library is close to its accomplishment as the project is expected to be finalized by mid-September 2020.
Do you have questions about our greening efforts? Do you have suggestions for how we can continue to not only lessen our environmental impact, but also make your physical experience of the building better? If so, please email Kyle at email@example.com - the Library would love to hear from you!
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
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Charlottesville, VA 22908 (Directions)
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