As the main library’s stacks are removed to make way for the new, every effort is being made to eliminate waste from the process. Parts of the building coming down have been repurposed from the inside out.
- Surplus wooden shelving has found new life through UVA’s ReUSE Store.
- Rebar in the walls is being recycled.
- Brick and concrete are being chewed into gravel for use in other projects.
- Trees rooted too close to be saved from construction are being sawed into planks to furnish lumber for student architectural projects.
And when the renovation is complete in 2023, storm water that once poured into the earth from the library’s 49,000 square feet of roof will be directed through a system of pipes into two massive cisterns under Nameless Field for use in Newcomb Road’s HVAC chiller plant.
Together, the tanks hold 75,000 gallons and will completely divert library runoff from rainfall of up to 1.8 inches and partially divert runoff from larger storms, depending upon available storage. The tanks will empty every 1-3 days following storms as the water is piped to the Newcomb Road chiller plant a few hundred feet away where it will provide at least 9 percent of the water needed annually for the cooling tower. The conservation effort will save approximately $10,000 the first year, and even more afterward as the cost of water from the city’s system rises. The tanks will also divert runoff away from a flood-prone area, preventing erosion and possible contamination of water supplies.
In addition to rain, the tanks will collect an estimated average of 640 gallons of water per day from vapor condensation — more than 230,000 gallons a year!