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Library increases its Commitment to Sustainability

by Kimberley Barker on 2020-01-07T15:02:02-05:00 | Comments

This article was written by Gretchen Arnold, Library Director, and edited by Kimberley R. Barker.


In November 2019, the University of Virginia announced its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, a decision that the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library eagerly supports.  Therefore, we are excited to share that we are collaborating with the University of Virginia Office of Sustainability’s Delta Force to make significant improvements to our water and energy systems.

In 2019, Delta Force, an internal performance contracting program that, “increases energy efficiency in buildings and achieves energy savings”, worked with Clark Hall to reduce that building’s annual energy expenses from around $1.2 million to about $450,000. Understandably, the Library is very excited to see what savings (and carbon reduction) can be achieved in our own physical space; it was built in 1976 and, though updated and renovated in 2000, many opportunities for significant improvement in energy efficiency and waste reduction remain.

The first phase of the project will involve area-by-area (see maps here) analyses of current energy use throughout the building.  Offices, classrooms, and smaller spaces will be fitted with digital thermostats which use smart technology to manage temperatures- while also providing the option to adjust the room temperature within a 4-degree range.  Large open areas will be redesigned in order to offer temperature zones, ranging from cooler to warmer so users can choose the temperature that best suits them.  Delta Force members will also improve the building’s air handling systems in order to improve overall efficiency.

The second phase of the project involves the installation of LED lights throughout the building. LED lights are significantly more efficient than traditional lights and, with a building as large as the Library, the savings will be significant.

A third phase of the project will focus on making further improvements in recycling and waste reduction.

Do you have suggestions for how we might make the Library greener, or questions about this project? If so, please use the “Ask for Help” form. Watch for updates in this space!

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1350 Jefferson Park Avenue P.O. Box 800722
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