Author: Will Denam

Better buildings

The library, which opened in 2008, was the first of its kind and continues the school’s trend of smart design and reduced energy consumption. Technologies such as heat reflection, light shelving, evaporative cooling, automatic light monitors and ample insulation have made lighting and temperature regulation feasible in an otherwise very inefficient building. Windows reflect heat without reducing available light. Cooling is done through an evaporative process while heating utilizes the heat from the library’s computer servers and circulates it throughout the building. The result has been a 65 to 90 percent reduction in energy consumption and an annual $100,000 savings in energy costs. This library was a beginning step in former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s 2006 goal to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2015, according to a June 2008 press release. The library’s innovation in design was recognized in April 2009 by the National Library Association. As part of a Utah State statute, all new state buildings must be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified and with a minimum rating of silver. This ensures that the building sites are sustainably chosen and used, and that the finished building will be water and energy efficient. In addtion, they will be innovatively designed and constructed. The library has set the standard for future building projects both at UVU and in Utah at large. As the current science...

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Go Green: Not Just A Slogan Anymore

As part of a 26 year history of sustainability efforts, UVU has created a Sustainability Committee and has launched a Go Green campaign to raise environmental awareness across campus. This aim has been behind the design and construction of the library and will likely continue with the addition of the new science building. There have been mixed opinions on the benefit of implementing these practices into the new buildings. According to Student Body President Richard Portwood, the campus wide savings have been minimal—amounting to less than 1% in energy cost reduction. Growth and expansion were not taken into account.However. The best metric to examine energy consumption is on a per capita basis, which has decreased significantly, explained Denny Rucker, chair of the sustainability committee. Both Portwood and Rucker are committed to continuing the school’s Go Green campaign because they say it is necessary and right. The Go Green campaign is a way to raise awareness on campus of the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability. For Rucker, sustainability is the smart use of natural resources and preserving the environment so it can be enjoyed by future generations. During the 2009-2010 school year, a survey was circulated around campus asking if students would support a modest increase in student fees to apply toward further sustainability measures. While some students have not been supportive of the campaign or the sustainability plan, the...

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