Since January of 2016 the 2nd floor of Clemons Library has been a construction site, and students and staff have endured the inevitable noise. The payoff is that the Dathel and John Georges Student Center will soon be helping UVA undergrads with the challenges of college life. What’s not generally known, however, is that the project is making Clemons greener, complementing the roof’s solar array that brings in the sun to help power the building.
According to a report by Nalls Architecture—and supplied by the Library’s Total Advising project manager Kathy Soule—the project team decided to maintain and reuse “a significant portion” of the 2nd floor interior, and to use regional materials and “mateirals with recycled content.” The result of the recycling effort, together with plans to improve water efficiency, heating and lighting, and indoor environmental quality, is that the project was able to meet the silver level standard of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The past year’s noise and restricted access have inconvenienced students and staff; but now the new restroom fixtures conserve water at a rate 32 percent higher than regulations require; dimmable LED lighting together with occupancy sensors help reduce wattage by more than current design standards call for; heat is regulated by a system of sensors that detect office occupancy and adjust airflow and temperatures accordingly, and CO2 sensors monitor air quality and tell the HVAC system where to supply more outdoor air.
The result of all the construction is that Clemons Library is not only a better building than it was before; it’s better than it’s been since the library first opened its doors in 1982.