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British Library receives London Green 500 “Platinum” Award 2010

Energy efficiency programme receives accolade as part of Mayor of London’s green initiatives

The British Library has invested in an ongoing programme of energy efficiency lighting upgrades as part of its energy action plan. This programme of activity, implemented jointly between the Library’s Estates Team and service provider, Cofely, resulted in the Library being awarded a London Green 500 ‘Platinum’ Award for reducing its carbon emissions substantially in 2010.

This ‘Platinum’ award follows the ‘Gold’ award received by the Library in 2009 and demonstrates the Library’s ongoing commitment to reducing its energy emissions.

Among the many highlights of this project include:

Kings Library Tower LED lighting project, reducing CO2 emissions by 50%
St Pancras public areas LED feature lighting project including the installation of 459 metres of LED linear lighting resulting in a reduction of power consumption from 50 W to 4.8 W per metre
External St Pancras LED lighting projects including the installation of LEDs across external areas of the Library such as the Piazza and Poet’s Circle
‘Half Hourly; electricity and gas meter project’ to measure amount and times of usage at the Library’s site in Boston Spa, Yorkshire
John de Lucy, the British Library’s Head of Estates was presented with a London Green 500 “Platinum” Award for 2010 by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

He commented: “This award recognises the Energy Action Plan and other energy saving measures implemented by the Library’s Estates and Facilities department and our Maintenance & Engineering service provider, Cofely. This accolade demonstrates the seriousness by which the Library takes energy efficiency, but is only the beginning. Over the coming year we will be focusing our efforts in reducing emissions from other areas of the Library, such as recycling and wastage.”

One of the Library’s success projects was the introduction of LED lighting in its iconic Kings Library. Situated in the heart of the British Library in London, the Kings Library is a six-storey tower which houses 65,000 volumes of printed works and 19,000 pamphlets collected by King George III. Considered to be one of the most significant collections of the Enlightenment, the tower previously had an average of 336 lamps operating 15 hours per day, thereby utilising a significant amount of energy.

In an effort to proactively reduce energy emissions, a pilot project was introduced to install 22W LED lights into the Kings Library. LED lighting was installed to replace the existing lighting and was piloted due its lower energy consumption, including: 22W as opposed to 70W; longer life expectancy of 60,000 instead of 20,000 hours; low temperature emissions and zero ultra violet emissions. These factors have all combined to provide a better environment to the collection, reducing light damage whilst enhancing the colouration of the book bindings.

Over a period of 18 days the LED lights were fitted and so far have resulted in a reduction in CO2 emissions by 50%.

Another example of the Library’s energy efficiency drive is the optimisation of its 25 (1MVA) HV/LV transformers. The benefit of optimising the supply voltage will allow the equipment to operate more closely to design parameters, and lower its energy consumption. This will result in the transformers reducing their output voltage by 17V, an optimisation of 7%, representing energy efficiency savings of 96 tonnes of CO2.

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