Morisset Library Deep Energy Retrofit

Friday, June 07, 2013

A light bulb with a plant growing inside it symbolizes how energy is being greened at the University of Ottawa

Book worms at the University of Ottawa rejoice! You will be happy to know that you can continue to study at the library and be perfectly at ease with the fact that the library is using less energy.

Admittedly energy consumption and libraries don't typically go hand in hand but they should. Did you know that library are energy pigs. Think about it, lots of people that need fresh air circulated around and books that can't get too dry or too wet or they risk being damaged. Finding that balance takes a whole bunch of energy.

So today I thought I would share with you some good news from our EcoProsperity program. Now for those of you who don't know, the uOttawa EcoProsperity program is just a fancy name we have given to our energy savings program. Essentially we are going around to every building on campus and trying to make it more efficient.

This past year the engineers and operations people at Physical Resources Service have been working to see what they could do to make the library more efficient. Morisset is a fine building but it was built a while ago and the mechanical systems needed a little TLC. In the late 90's, automatic lights were installed in the aisles of the library in order save on electricity (no people in the aisles = no light), but we were thinking a little more could be done.

Well, a little more was done. Take a look at the chart below. What it is saying is that the engineers were able to reduce the heating of the building by 90% and the electrical consumption by 30%. Not bad. And all of this done without changing the comfort levels inside the building; that is, people inside the building will still be getting air that is just as fresh at exactly the same temperature.

Congrats to all of those involved in the project. This brings the uOttawa library from a "middle of the pack" facility to the most energy efficient university library in Canada. Feel free to contact us if you want to hear some engineering geek talk about how the energy consumption numbers were brought down.

~ jON - campus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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