With the opening of the new Chrisney branch of the Lincoln Heritage Public Library, many people are more and more interested in what exactly is net-zero. The town of Chrisney opened the Nation's first net-zero library in April 2009. The library utilizes solar energy and geothermal technology that reduces energy costs to zero.
Zero energy buildings can be used separately from the energy grid supply – energy can be harvested on-site. This means that a building can gain its energy from wind or sunlight, operating windows, heat, etc.
The popularity of renewable energy is increasing rapidly. The “go green” era has responded immensely because renewable energy harvesting can help cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Chrisney Library is certainly a shining star in southwest Indiana,” Lt. Governor Skillman said. “They are leading the way toward a more energy-efficient Indiana, and the state is happy to be a partner in the project.”
To reduce operating expenses, the Chrisney design team decided to work with renewable energy in the form of natural daylight, natural ventilation, passive solar design, active solar hot water, photovoltaic electricity, and geothermal heating and cooling. Cooling during the summer can be accomplished with a geothermal heat pump system. During the winter, a thermal slab floor will be heated by sunlight from the active solar hot water system that is backed up by the geothermal heat pump when needed.
With new buildings such as the Chrisney branch of the Lincoln Heritage Public Library, many other organizations are catching on. This can lead to a better environment and a brighter future for us all.