The Tweed Heads Library expansion included a full upgrade of the Electrical, Mechanical, Fire and Hydraulics systems for the building that WalkerBai was commissioned to design.
Details of the design included:
1) replacement of the existing building main switchboard;
2) installing LED lighting;
3) use of fabric air conditioning ductwork; and
4) installation of 20kW rooftop solar system.
These upgrades provide long-term benefits for the Tweed Heads Library.
Here, we list the advantages of each design:
The new main switchboard improved the electrical safety of the library and will reduce maintenance and improve compliance with current safety standards. It has lowered the risk of electrocution and electrical fire.
LED lighting’s number one benefit is longer usage, which is converted to expenditure savings. It will last up to 10-11 years of continuous use or double that time if usage per day is only 8 hours. It is also energy efficient, where 80% of the electrical energy used is converted to light while the remaining 20% is lost as heat, and requires low voltage. It is durable even in outdoor settings and frequent switching will not diminish its lifetime. LED lighting is very efficient in providing light to the room and specific areas. It is also said to have health benefits as it has zero UV emissions and according to an article from Smart Cities Dive, LED lighting “increases employee or student motivation and commitment; improved concentration and energy; and "Mood support" in wellness and dining areas” based on Lighting Europe research.
Fabric air conditioning ductwork uses fabric ducting rather than metal ducts to transport air. This method is considered green and beneficial. From cost of materials to installation, Tweed Heads Library generated savings as it required less ductwork, material cost is 20-80% cheaper than metal and less manpower required to install. Even future savings is guaranteed as this is easier to clean. More savings on energy up to 25% because of reduced static pressure requirements. Moreover, occupants of the library will be more comfortable because of the improvement in air quality and air distribution.
Installation of 20kW rooftop solar system is additional savings to Tweed Heads Library. Combined with the new LED lighting , savings can be up to around $8,000 a year with a return of investment in 5 years.
To summarize, besides the aesthetics that are first evident in the newly refurbished Tweed Heads Library, safety, long-term savings and efficiency are the significant changes that have been made to this building.