Technology 2022


Enhancing environmental control and energy reduction management in the heritage sector, The National Library of Scotland

Sponsored by: Matrix Booking

Technology 2022

Taking home top prize in the Technology Category, The National Library of Scotland launched its Library Environmental Energy Platform (LEEP) to reduce the carbon footprint, refurbish the library’s building services systems, and enhance the control and monitoring of collections environments.

It set about achieving its goals by:

  • identifying and evaluating new energy reduction initiatives
  • finding a resilient solution to replace or upgrade the existing legacy BMS
  • investigating options to improve the control and monitoring of its many building environments.

After an initial marketplace survey, options review and discussions with library partners, the decision was made to use IoT and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) technology to find solutions to deliver library outcomes.

Climate change is considered a major challenge for heritage estate teams because of the increasing intensity and frequency of the kind of climate hazards likely to affect them and the pressure to reduce their carbon footprints.

The National Library of Scotland is one of six legal deposit libraries within Great Britain and Northern Ireland, housing collections comprising more than 30 million physical and digital items in multiple formats including rare and original books, manuscripts, maps and music archives and newspapers, moving images and sound.

Results gleaned

The library achieved the following:

  • 24% reduction in GHG emissions
  • 5% reduction in energy consumption
  • financial savings of more than £500,000.

The continuing learning outcomes from this project are being shared with UK heritage peer groups, local authorities, and industry organisations and on a global stage through academic studies, and in the delivery of seminars to international conservation conferences.

Best practice learning

Good partnerships are essential for the success of any new developments and initiatives.  By uniting the heritage sector, industry and academia, knowledge has been shared and barriers overcome to enhance and improve best practice.

Taking a holistic approach to FM partnering and involving all team members as active stakeholders has been key to capturing real time environmental and energy data.

Key quote

‘The LEEP system allows us to use data to inform our decision making which is another one of our strategic ambitions. As the guardian of over 30 million physical and digital items, we have a responsibility to ensure that we collect, protect, and share our collections in a way that offers the best environment while reducing our carbon footprint. This development has allowed us to do just that.’  – Amina Shah, librarian & CE at the National Library of Scotland.