Better buildings


The innovative design of the library leads the way in the state when it comes to building construction. Jake Buntjer/UVU Review

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 building is operating at more than three times its capacity, the need for expansion has become very apparent. The construction contract of the new science building has been awarded to Big D construction, according to Richard Portwood, student body president. Out of the firms considered, Big D seems to be the best fit with UVU’s philosophy, planning and with its management style.

While specific details on the upcoming science building are not yet available, the hope is that it will fall in line with the efficiency of the library and offer the school much needed space in addition to savings in energy costs.

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