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The Chattanooga Public Library's downtown renovation is the City Of Chattanooga's Better Buildings Challenge Showcase Project.

The Chattanooga Public Library's downtown branch was built in 1976

“The Public Library is a place where people from all walks of life come to learn and to work towards a brighter future for themselves and their families,” said Mayor Berke. “It seems appropriate then that this building will act as a demonstration of our shared sustainability efforts and values -- a place where organizations can come to learn and work towards a brighter future for our city.” 
- Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. 

The Chattanooga Public Library: A Better Buildings Challenge Showcase Project

  • The Downtown Chattanooga Public Library is the Showcase Project for Chattanooga’s Better Buildings Challenge and includes a LED lighting upgrade, major HVAC system replacement and controls to increase efficiency. The LED lighting upgrade will start at the beginning of 2017. Showcase Projects demonstrate that partners are taking immediate concrete actions resulting in significant and real savings. This project will result in a 40% reduction in annual energy consumption.

  • Launched in 2011, the goal of the U.S. DOE Better Buildings Challenge is to make commercial, public, industrial, and multifamily residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade.

  • The Chattanooga Public Library’s LED lighting project will greatly improve the Main Library by not only lowering our electric bill, but also making the building lighter and brighter for our staff and patrons.

  • The new LED lighting will replace a 40-year-old fluorescent system and introduce 21st Century efficiencies to the landmark location, resulting in an overall drop in energy use at the Library by 21%.

  • The Library’s LED lighting project also provides an opportunity to refresh floor plans at the Main Library and create attractive, comfortable, productive and safe spaces.

  • The Library will implement an HVAC system replacement the following year as part of the project, which will further reduce the Library’s overall energy use by 20%, for a total 41% reduction in energy use.

Interesting Facts

  • Each floor currently has 135 rows of fluorescent lights that use 270 bulbs per floor.

  • That’s approximately 405 rows of lights with 810 fluorescent bulbs across all three floors of the Library.

  • The current replacement plan calls for each floor to have 36 energy efficient LED lights per floor that will provide brighter and more efficient lighting.

Lighting Renovation Logistics

  • Once work begins, one half of a floor at a time will be sealed off from public and employee access. Access to all Library materials will be ensured by temporarily moving all materials to the open side of each floor.

  • Workers will prepare each area, install a new trey ceiling and install new lights. Once work is complete on the half floor, workers will move on to the next half floor, which will be staged.

  • The renovation will be ongoing through much of 2017.

About The Downtown Branch

  • The main branch of the Chattanooga Public Library was constructed in the mid 1970s and is a fantastic example of midcentury brutalist architecture. It’s an award-winning building and has been a cornerstone of the downtown community for 40 years. Downtown Chattanooga contains an eclectic mix of architecture and design, and the Library is proud to be part of that tradition. The main library location is also one of the first public libraries in the U.S. to offer free public access to gigabit internet.

  • Other improvement projects downtown that were completed this summer include: pressure washing the exterior, new air conditioning on the 4th Floor, window cleaning of entire building, new wiring, landscaping, and tree planting.