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!