Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Energy Improvements in 2012 and 2013

by jmeade@private.bpl.org

greenovate2Boston Public Library’s Facilities Department continues to move forward, focused on efforts to reduce utility consumption. These efforts are cost-savings measures that align with the City’s overall energy reductions goals, and, as reflected in the Community Gathering principle of the strategic plan, help the library minimize its environmental impact.

This year, we have added 320 motion sensors to the book stacks in the Central Library’s Johnson Building along with the 540 installed last year, automating light switches to ensure lights are only used when staff are actually working in those areas.

We replaced a large percentage of high energy-consuming lighting fixtures at three locations with energy efficient fixtures:

  • Jamaica Plain Branch – 111 fixtures with a 30% reduction in watts consumed
  • Dudley Branch – 367 fixtures with over 50% reduction in watts consumed
  • Central Library at Copley Square – 545 fixtures with over 45% reduction in watts consumed

Additionally, Bates Hall in the McKim Building at the Central Library is now illuminated with 100% LED bulbs that were received under a state-funded program, and at no cost to the BPL.

On the plumbing front, we have  been installing “low-flow” faucets and fixtures in many Central Library locations, cutting down on water use and costs. We have added water meters for cooling towers and lawn sprinklers at multiple locations to reduce sewer costs.

We have also begun the process of upgrading our centralized building management system and added an initial set of locations to the new system. The system can now be controlled remotely, improving gas and electric efficiencies and providing a more efficient and responsive system to staff and public needs. We hope to add locations to the the centralized building management system over next couple of years.

Funding for these improvements is drawn from the “Johnson Building Energy Improvements” capital projects and City of Boston Energy Department and Mass. green communities.

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