The new UTC Library opened its doors in Spring of 2015, boasting a LEED-Silver certification. LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environment Design – is a national certification that signifies a building is designed and built using strategies to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. Sustainable site development, water and energy efficiency, construction and materials, and indoor environmental quality are all components of LEED. With over 180,000 square feet, the project has been funded at $48 million, and underwent five years of construction and design.
Janet Spraker, UTC Director of Engineering Services, notes that: “As a LEED-certified building, the library will take advantage of daylighting opportunities to conserve electricity. Low-flow toilets and faucets are used throughout the building, and recycling centers are located on each floor. Water retention tanks collect rainwater and HVAC condensate, reducing stormwater runoff.” Regional materials were used in the site construction to the maximum extent possible, and construction materials such as concrete, metals, and supply packaging were recycled. Energy efficient technologies such as lighting controls, low-flow fixtures in restrooms and break areas, and virtual computers contribute to reducing UTC's campus carbon footprint and electrical usage.
Envisioned as the premier location for student academic needs outside the classroom, the building hosts over 55 study, learning and meeting spaces – including 24-hour student study space; moveable compact stacks with storage for ~600,000 volumes; a large café with a biological (green) roof; a new auditorium housing 2 lecture halls; and many other amenities to support student learning are part of the library design.