Rochester Institute of Technology (Image Permanence Institute)

Log Number: LG-06-09-0143-09

Many libraries maintain tightly controlled, energy-intensive environments for their stacks, special collection, and exhibition spaces. For budgetary reasons and because of concern over global climate change, libraries are searching for ways to lower energy consumption responsibly and safely. This project will investigate a promising method for libraries to achieve significant reductions in energy use without compromising the preservation quality of collection environments through a carefully monitored and risk-managed shutdown of air handling units (AHUs) during unoccupied hours. Five partner libraries will help determine through actual experiment and documentation whether it is feasible to save energy in this manner. During the final phase of the project, the team will create a free publication that documents project methodology, results, and suggestions for overcoming potential barriers to implementation. It will also provide actual costs of operation for special environments and recommended best practices for controlled, risk-managed AHU shutdowns. The team will also design a Web-based resource to help libraries maintain the best possible climate for preservation with the least consumption of energy.