Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Capital Improvements: LCP Generates Heat!

Al Dallasta, Chief of Maintenance & Security

This fall, the Library Company is making an investment in high-efficiency heating and humidification equipment that will save an estimated $40,000 to $50,000 annually and help ensure environmental stability for our priceless collections. 

When the building at 1314 Locust Street was built for our use in 1965, it was connected to the “City steam loop,” a municipal system for provision of steam. As the years went by, the costs of the City’s steam rose to almost three times that of producing our own steam in house. 

With the help of contributions from the McLean Contributionship and a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania RACP grant, the Library Company has been able to invest in a pair of dual-fuel boilers that will allow us to precisely control the temperature and humidity in the building as well as saving annual fuel costs.  The boilers are fired with natural gas, but can use heating oil as a back-up in the case of an emergency. 

The conversion involves tapping into a high-pressure gas main that runs down 13th Street and running a new line into 1314 Locust St., as well as hoisting the boilers and one of the oil tanks up to the 8th floor by means of a crane.  We appreciate the patience of our neighbors with the resulting occasional closures of Locust Street!  Additional work includes installation of new pipes for the humidification system and electrical wiring for the boilers.  Work began in late August and is expected to be complete well before the end of the year. 

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