Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 23, 2016

Library to serve as city’s Challenge showcase project

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke announces the Downtown Public Library as the site of the city’s showcase project for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. - Submitted

The Downtown Public Library will serve as Chattanooga’s showcase project for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge (BBC).

As a showcase project, the library will highlight specific ways to achieve sustainability goals and serve as an example to other organizations and cities across the country that want to achieve similar sustainability goals.

The planned upgrades to the downtown library branch – a four story, 108,500 square foot building constructed in 1976 – will save over 800,000 kilowatt hours annually for a total of $60,000 a year in energy cost savings.

Mayor Andy Berke says the showcase project is an example of city government spending taxpayer dollars responsibly and leading by example in its commitment to sustainability. “We have invited agencies and organizations from across Chattanooga to join us in taking the challenge,’’ he says, “and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish when we put our heads together to solve important issues”

Earlier this year, the City of Chattanooga accepted the Department of Energy’s BBC, and since then, has been working with partners like EPB, TVA, and green|spaces to develop best practices and resources.

Under the challenge, businesses commit to reducing energy use intensity (EUI) by 20 percent by 2023. EPB’s free energy assessment program helps businesses know how much energy they’re using and where they can find savings.

David Wade, president and CEO of EPB, says the library will be a great showcase for how participating in the Better Buildings Challenge can improve energy utilization in other buildings. “The free EPB Energy Check-up our energy experts completed to help the library maximize the value of its energy use is available to all of our customers,” he says.

Chattanooga’s BBC showcase project at the library upgrades a 40-year-old lighting system, resulting in significant savings, while also enhancing the space. Beginning the first week of 2017, crews will start removing 810 fluorescent bulbs spanning 405 rows of lights and three floors of the library. They will be replaced with 36 energy efficient LED lights per floor.

Corinne Hill, executive director for the Chattanooga Public Library, says the LED lighting project will improve the Main Library by not only lowering the electric bill but also making the building lighter and brighter. “The new LED lighting will replace a dated fluorescent system and introduce 21st century efficiency to the landmark location,” she says.

The showcase project at the library also includes an HVAC system replacement and new controls to increase efficiency. Through both the LED lighting and HVAC upgrade, this project will result in a more than 40 percent reduction in annual energy consumption at the library.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Erlanger Hospital have also joined the movement, adding a combined 5.5 million square feet to the BBC in Chattanooga. To learn more, visit connect.chattanooga.gov/betterbuildings.

Source: City of Chattanooga