Chrisney Public LibraryChrisney, Indiana

Owing to a state law that caps operating cost increases, Indiana’s public libraries face a serious problem when they want to expand facilities or add new branches. When the Town of Chrisney saw the need for a branch library, the biggest obstacle was not how to fund the building but how to fund the monthly operating cost increase to the local library district budget. The solution: a hybrid building that will produce as much power as it uses.

This public library is the first net zero energy public library in the U.S. The land for this library is adjacent to an elementary school and backs up to an outdoor learning lab. The Photo Voltaic and active solar panels are on a Learning Power Pavilion behind the traditional library building. The building is located among tall trees and the Learning Power Pavilion is in the full sun. The building features full daylighting, passive heating and ventilation with a thermal slab heat source.

A geothermal heat pump provides back-up heating and cooling. Renewable energy offsets 100% of the energy demand for the building. On sunny days, the electric meter spins backwards.

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Case Study: Lincoln Heritage Public Library Chrisney Branch
Originally published in the Summer 2014 issue of High Performing Buildings (HPB) magazine, a publication of ASHRAE.

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)