Idema Pew Library on GVSU's Allendale campus could raise bar on energy efficiency

Construction of the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons on Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus includes so many energy-saving design aspects and high-efficiency materials that the facility will consume half the energy of a typical library its size.

That's the word from Scott Veine, project manager for Pioneer Construction, who is overseeing the project.

"We took the base model of a library that met all the program needs of GVSU and worked with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, a subsidiary of the Department of Energy, to cut 50 percent of the energy consumption," Veine says. "We've successfully completed that over the course of the last year and we're now implementing what the DOE gave us."

The 150,000-square-foot building will have five stories, 80 percent of which have raised floors with 18 inches of space below for running electrical, HVAC and IT lines, Veine says. Heat and air conditioning will come from the floor up, to maximize energy use in the six- to seven-foot-high zone people occupy.  

Other energy-saving features include a tight building envelope to retain maximum heat, a lighting sensor system that will dim artificial lights when enough natural light is present, and glass curtain walls to let in plenty of natural light.

The library will seat about 1,500 students, will offer 20 group study rooms and will have 600,000 books available to students through an automated retrieval system to reduce the space needed to store the books. Electronic books will also be available for students.

Veine says construction is about 45 percent complete, with 75 percent of the building already enclosed. Right now, about 120 tradesmen are on the job each day, and construction just hit a milestone of 100,000 man-hours. The project is on track for an expected LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

To view a video of the U.S. Green Building Council's tour of the project, click here.
For more information on the library, click here.

Construction manager/constructor: Pioneer Construction.
Architect and interior design: SHW Group.
Landscape architect: Hamilton Anderson.
Civil engineering: FTC&H.

Source: Scott Veine, Pioneer Construction
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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