A study by students in Mike Oliva's sustainable design engineering class at University of Wisconsin-Madison last year found that the 47-year-old library could shave energy costs by using high-performance fluorescent light bulbs, natural lighting, double-pane windows, occupancy sensors for bathroom lights and fans and additional insulation. The students found, incredibly enough, that there was no insulation in the walls.
"The study was a good one, to look at an ancient building and see what you could do," said Library Director Barb Dimick. She thought some of the proposals, in fact, worthy enough to include in her 2009 capital budget.
"But now the operating budget is so bad that the whole thing is on hold," Dimick said.
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