Upper Arlington News

Library undertakes $2.5M lighting, HVAC project

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The Upper Arlington Public Library has launched a $2.5-million energy-conservation project at its main and Lane Road branches.

Work began Nov. 4 to replace an outdated lighting system with energy-efficient technology at the UAPL's Lane Road branch.

It's part of a $2.5-million Energy Conservation Measures project, which also includes lighting upgrades and the first replacement of the entire heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the main library since it was opened on Tremont Road in 1959.

The project is being funded by portions of the UAPL's voter-approved levy and library funding that comes from Franklin County.

Library officials said they have set aside money for the work in each of the past three years.

"The new HVAC system will be state of the art," library Director Chris Taylor said. "It will use less energy than the old systems."

According to information provided by the library, the project is expected to yield about $40,000 in energy-bill savings and a roughly 25-percent reduction in energy consumption in its first year.

Additionally, Taylor said, it will provide an automated control terminal for the main library's HVAC system and will create temperature and lighting uniformity in the facilities.

"We do have areas in the (main library) currently that run a little hot or cold," she said. "This should help with that.

"When it comes to the lighting levels, we do have issues with glare on computer screens," she added. "We should be able to maintain or increase lighting levels while decreasing glare on computer screens."

Taylor said improved lighting will be most evident at the Lane Road branch, as well as in the main library's media, reference and youth services departments.

However, she noted the lights in non-user areas such as closets won't be replaced.

"We approached this with an energy-conservation attitude," Taylor said. "There may be lights that aren't replaced because there is no return on the investment."

The project is expected to be completed by late spring 2014.

Library visitors won't be affected, Taylor said, because the work is taking place while the branches are closed.

Project updates will be provided at ualibrary.org, and via the library's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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