Yale University Library


Yale University Library Green Team

March 2009 Archives

March 19, 2009

Energy usage at Yale libraries

Tom Downing, Senior Energy Engineer at Yale, visited the Library Green Team in February to discuss energy conservation at Yale. He shared the following chart, showing energy usage in several library buildings. If you compare the amount that goes to steam and chilled water to the other categories, you can see that a very large portion of energy is devoted to heating and cooling in Library buildings.

A national study is currently underway that will re-evaluate the air conditioning requirements for bookstacks. Based on studies such as this, we may be able to change the way Library buildings heat and cool the stacks and cut away at the blue and orange swaths of the bar graph below.

While heating and cooling is largely beyond our daily control, the green-shaded areas below can be reduced through simple behavioral changes (turn off anything electric when not in use and unplug devices such as battery chargers, etc.). Information about sustainable office behavior can be found at the Yale Sustainability Pledge.

Thanks to Tom for the update on conservation practices!


March 25, 2009

Library Preservation goes Green

Our March 2009 guest at the Library Green Team was Tara Kennedy, Preservation Field Services Librarian. Tara is tracking temperature and humidity conditions in collection areas throughout the library system. The systematic collection of data will help the preservation team identify opportunities for energy conservation that will not compromise the collections.

One experiment is already up and running in Sterling. The Sterling stack tower has six powerful HVAC units running simultaneously. Tara is using environmental monitoring to assess the impact of powering down one of the units periodically (some of the results are shown in the graph below).


The hope is that facilities can cycle through the HVAC units, reducing the total energy usage for conditioning the stacks. The experiment is ongoing and we look forward to hearing more as it progresses.

Many thanks to Tara for updating us on energy conservation efforts in the Preservation department!