Stories & Updates

Making the Library more environmentally sustainable

1st April 2022

Sustainability, and the Library’s impact on the environment around it, is a core consideration of the restoration project.

The plans include a number of non-intrusive measures that will result in a substantial reduction in the College’s carbon footprint and help to make the space a more comfortable and pleasant working environment for staff and students alike.


It’s great that College’s plans to update the Library are sustainable and take into account their impact on the environment. The environmentally-friendly ventilation will definitely improve the quality of the reader experience whilst having a positive effect on the world around us.

Menna (2019, Earth Sciences)

The current lighting will be replaced with LED bulbs and operate on a motion detector system, which will be much kinder on the eyes of those working in the Library and far more energy efficient.

The heating system will also be updated so it is fully controllable and the new windows in the Annexe roof will open and shut automatically allowing the space to be ventilated naturally without the need for air conditioning in the summer.

Render of the half-width mezzanine level in the Library’s annexe
The new half-width mezzanine level in the Library’s annexe will provide additional seating and allow us to reveal the full height of George Gilbert Scott’s Gothic windows as originally intended.

Further, a special invisible film will be applied to all the windows to reduce solar heat and glare, which, along with the new blinds, will help control the temperature of the building and prevent damage to the books. This will be a significant change from the current heating and ventilation systems in the Library, which are either on or off.

Ground Floor of the Library showing the current heating and ventilation system by a bookshelf
The current inadequate heating and ventilation system in the Library

You can help to make the Library more environmentally sustainable by making a gift today.