The Boole Library, located in the stunning grounds of University College Cork, is one the busiest and most energy intensive buildings on campus and typically sees a footfall of 1.5 million people each year. The Library team uses our OPNSpaces solution to monitor indoor air quality, ventilation levels and occupancy density across the building. This data helps all occupants to stay safe, informed and comfortable.
The award winning sustainability team in the Library had approached OPNHVAC to see if they could deploy a solution to track Indoor environmental conditions and occupancy patterns and determine if they could be improved to promote learning, concentration and general comfort while also giving the Library team the data to make informed decisions on space and energy management.
The team had planned on creating different temperature zones within the building and coupled with real time data on occupancy rates, the students would be able to quickly make their way to their preferred area and avoid the need to seek out a free space. The HVAC equipment was monitored to ensure it was operating energy efficiently and optimally to achieve desired space conditions.
As the Boole and the wider University prepared for COVID re-opening, OPNHVAC’s role pivoted to meet challenges posed by an airborne virus and the need for social distancing across a large complex building.
The most significant change was transitioning from a reflective analytical tool designed to optimise building performance, to a live operational tool providing air quality and space availability data to help students and staff to safely occupy and navigate the Library.
Air Quality Monitoring - CO2 monitoring in learning environments is well established as best practice to support cognitive function. Since evidence has indicated that the COVID-19 virus is airborne it is now critical that air quality levels are measured where people spend long periods of time and are sharing the space with others. CO2 levels are an ideal proxy for ventilation. If ventilation of fresh outdoor air is insufficient, then CO2 immediately increases.
Occupancy Monitoring - The OPNHVAC people counters, which are anonymous by design and highly accurate, record the entrances and exits across a threshold. Multiple areas in the Boole Library are monitored in order to manage social distancing throughout the building and to identify available space. Live occupancy and environmental data is displayed on digital signage within the building and on the Boole website.
Ventilation Control - The operation and control of ventilation equipment has been adjusted in accordance with guidance to minimise transmission of virus. OPNHVAC analyses equipment performance to ensure daily requirements are met. Regular automated Reports are issued to building managers.
"UCC Library is very proud of its 'Green' credentials and in the modern age this is a key indicator for the successful operation of a busy Library. OPNHVAC has given us the tools to maximise our actions, our reporting and it supports our decision making process with an intuitive dashboard. It has become a must have for the successful operation of a large building which needs to deliver for thousands of students and staff on a daily basis. It is great to have a single solution which details our environment stats in real time. And now with COVID-19 adding additional pressures, controlling the building's spaces would be very challenging if we didn't have a tool like OPNHVAC. "