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Going carbon net zero at Woodley Library

Going carbon net zero at Woodley Library

25 March 2022
View of solar panels on Woodley Library roof

Woodley’s local library continues to show its green credentials as it becomes the first carbon net zero library building in the borough, and one of only a handful across the UK. 

To reach this net zero level, Wokingham Borough Council has worked hard to reduce the amount of energy required to run the building and keep it warm, as well as offsetting the remaining emissions by generating renewable energy on site. 

To do this the council have completed a series of improvement works across the building to make it more efficient and airtight, including installing air source heat pumps to keep the building warm, creating a new wind lobby to reduce the amount of heat lost as people enter the building, and installing hundreds of solar panels across the roof, linked to a new battery system, meaning power generated on the site during the day can be stored and used to power the library as required. 

This move to renewable solar power has also enabled the council to remove the gas supply to the property, helping reduce reliance on fossil fuels which generate high carbon emissions and are becoming increasingly expensive. 

“Projects like this are great examples of how we are putting our climate emergency plans into action.” Said Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for resident services, communications and emissions. “We’re continuing to invest in our properties to make them more energy efficient and help reduce carbon emissions, every improvement project contributing just that little bit more towards a vision of a carbon net zero Wokingham by 2030.

“And this project is even more impressive as it’s involved retrofitting an older building, which was never designed for this level of performance, to make it one of the most energy efficient properties in the borough. Something we’re hoping to roll out to even more of our sites over the coming years.”

The improvement works at Woodley Library have been funded through the Government Salix scheme which provides interest free funding to help council’s improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills in their public buildings. 

In addition to reducing the carbon emissions, the works also support the council’s ongoing campaign to help make their buildings more energy self-sufficient, reducing their need to rely on increasingly expensive bought in energy and ensuring their supply remains constant should future disruption occur. 

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