What is the scope of the project? Why is the library HVAC being replaced?
- The City of Beverly has launched a transformative project to decarbonize Beverly’s main library and improve building performance, air quality, and service to community members as a cooling center in the summer.
- The Beverly Public Library was first established in 1855 and operated out of City Hall until it moved to its current location in 1913. The building was renovated and expanded in 1993, which included the installation of the mechanical Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment still used today.
- After 30 years, the current HVAC equipment has reached the end of its useful life and is in need of replacement. The condensing unit serving one of the Roof-Top Units (RTUs) providing ~40% of the cooling for the library has already failed.
What is the project timeline?
- The project is expected to be completed in 2024. Updates will be posted as they become available.
What are the anticipated construction impacts?
- A detailed schedule showing impacts to library services will be posted when the construction schedule is finalized and more specific information becomes available.
- In anticipation of the geothermal drilling, some trees in the parking lot have been removed. These ash trees were facing an emerald ash borer infestation and were already in decline. Additional trees may be removed as the project progresses.
Why did the City decide to use a geothermal heating and cooling system?
- In 2021, the City ran a study to understand and compare HVAC replacement options. The City evaluated the cost and performance of replacing the existing system with similar equipment, as well as alternative options such as air-source heat pumps and ground-source heat pumps.
- The City found that a ground-source heat pump system, or a geothermal system, was the best option to reduce the most energy use and eliminate on-site fossil fuel use by removing gas-fired equipment. Geothermal technology makes it possible to heat and cool the library using the Earth’s naturally stable below-ground temperature–a renewable energy source.
- The library has also been used as a cooling center during heat waves. As the City experiences more high-heat days due to climate change, a reliable cooling system will provide an increasingly critical public health service to the community.
How does this project help our climate goals?
- In Resilient Together, the City’s climate action plan, the City committed to leading by example through adoption of smart, clean, net zero technology in existing and new municipal buildings. Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and this project is expected to remove gas entirely (21,000 therms to zero) and reduce HVAC electricity usage.
- This helps the City meet its goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030.
Where can I find more information?
- Updates regarding any delayed openings, closures, or service changes, will be posted to this page. A more detailed schedule showing impacts to library services will be posted when the construction schedule is finalized and more specific information becomes available.