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UCI Libraries Go Green!

The UCI Libraries recently embarked on a series of initiatives for shrinking our environmental footprint by cutting energy use and increasing recycling efforts. In addition to the libraries-wide effort of making recycling part of most departmental processes, two departments have carried out some broader initiatives with the goal of cutting energy use.

This past January, the IT Department implemented Verdiem Surveyor to manage the power settings on approximately 460 public computers. Using this software, computers are scheduled to turn off fifteen minutes following the closure of Library buildings and power back on fifteen minutes prior to their opening. These changes in power settings are estimated to save 238,397 kWh per year, or $30,992 per year (at $0.13/kWh).

This is not the Libraries’ first effort to “go green.” In April 2008, the IT Department started virtualizing some of its servers, which has led so far to the elimination of 11 physical servers by running multiple server operating systems on single pieces of equipment. According to the developer of VMware, the product used for virtualization in the Libraries, “4 tons of CO2 emissions are eliminated for every server virtualized, the equivalent of taking 1.5 cars off the highway.” Additionally, the virtualization effort led to increased server reliability and reduced electrical and cooling consumption in the Libraries’ data center. Due to the fewer number of physical servers, there will be reductions in waste disposal for equipment reaching the end of life cycle.

The Libraries Facilities Department has also made changes to the building infrastructure and performs regular maintenance reviews. Most recently, the department added Variable Frequency Drives for all HVAC in the library buildings, minimizing startup electrical usage. Additionally, lamps throughout the Libraries are being converted from incandescent and metal halide to compact fluorescent lamps, which reduce wattage and heat. The department also ensures that all facilities equipment is energy “start rated” and that old carpet is recycled in an effort to reduce landfill waste.

For more information, contact Adrian Petrisor, Director of Information Technology (petrisor@uci.edu or x42075).

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