As one of the Energy and Carbon Reduction Project (ECRP) original Pilot Buildings the University Library (UL) has one of the largest carbon footprints of any University building, as well as being, in terms of floor area, one of the largest single buildings on the University's estate. As one of the world's most important repostiories of the recorded word, many of the archives require close environmental control, which consumes a significant amount of energy.
Prior to 2014 the University Library had 7 separate chillers used to serve respective air handling units. With the support of ECRP, these chillers were replaced with a centralised chilled water system, and a desiccant dehumidifier was also installed. In addition to this, ECRP funded a comprehensive review of the Building Management System (BMS) in the UL. The BMS carefully controls the environment (e.g. temperature and humidity) of the building, and so if not entirely optimal, a significant amount of energy may be wasted. Further works are ongoing which will result in a widening in the range of the temperature and relative humidity in the building, whilst still protecting the UL's archives, in order to achieve greater energy savings.
The ECRP-funded project to centralise and replace the chillers at the University Library (UL) was completed in July 2015 and is now being monitored. It is clear from the figure below that significant energy savings are already being recorded. This, alongside the improvements to the control strategy for the BMS, completed in February 2015, are set to save 740MWh of electricity and 500MWh gas per year (compared to 13/14 energy consumption). This £1.4million investment will also be critical in keeping conditions optimal for the library’s ~8 million items.