Controls Help Put Salt Lake City Library on Cutting Edge of Public Facilities

April 1, 2010
1,500 control points used for HVAC, access control

For its new library complex, Salt Lake City envisioned three six-story buildings — one for administration, one for the library's collections, and one with reading galleries and meeting rooms — connected by walkways.

The city wanted control systems to manage everything from the environment and access to smoke alarms, window-blind adjustment, sidewalk snow melting, lighting, and ventilation. With numerous windows throughout the facility and a requirement for underfloor installation of HVAC and electrical equipment, the project presented some interesting challenges.

The physical plant serves the new library, as well as a county government building and a retail area. As a result, the city needed to be able to track energy usage by each entity so that it could bill accordingly.

Salt Lake City selected Schneider Electric's I/NET system because of its UUKL 864 listing for smoke and fire control. It chose LonWorks-based technology for its ability to integrate with third-party equipment and provide easy access to systems via the Internet.

Today, the Salt Lake City Library offers all imaginable amenities and more. For instance, controls automatically monitor solar radiation, light, and temperature and adjust window blinds to ensure the proper environment. And the library uses a system that circulates hot water through sidewalks to melt snow and keep pathways clear.

The first phase of the project involved control systems for the physical plant. The second phase involved control systems for the three new buildings. All electrical, control, and HVAC devices were installed under the floors. Although this process required more steps than a drop-ceiling installation would have, it offers greater flexibility in adding or moving devices. Also, it offers increased energy savings, as it is more cost-effective to deliver cool air through a floor than from a ceiling.

The new library uses more than 1,500 Schneider Electric control points for HVAC and access control. A LonWorks-based open database facilitates communication among systems from multiple vendors, including variable-frequency drives and lighting-control panels.

The library has two dozen duress stations to enhance security for patrons and employees. A burglar-alarm system monitors employee duress stations and emergency exits inside of the library. All alarm notifications are sent to a 24-hr dispatch center.

Local and remote access to control systems enables the facilities staff to monitor and analyze performance and change system settings from any personal computer anywhere, while Web functionality and alarm notifications sent to pagers enable rapid response to any situation that arises.

Information and photograph courtesy of Schneider Electric.
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