The new Central Library will have many new technologies -- including the stunning new technology of insulation. But it won't save much energy overall and that's okay.
The current library, built at a time when energy felt like it was free, has virtually no insulation. It leaks like a sieve and draws $200,000 a year in bills to heat, cool and light the building.
The new building (construction will probably get under way this fall) will be super insulated and built to LEED standards and it'll save a little of that $200k, but not much. That's because the building will be state of the art not just for greenness but also for technology. That means a lot more electricity-demanding computers.
But the minor improvement in overall energy savings masks a more important plus. That is that we're converting wasted energy to productive energy. BTUs that are literally flying out the window now will be plowed back into productive uses.