Sun, Oct 30, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taipei gets automated ‘green’ library

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Taipei City Public Library opened its fourth unmanned intelligent library yesterday, but this one has been built not just to be smart, but also to be as “green” as the park in which it stands.

The Solar Library and Energy-Optimized House (called Solar LEO House), situated in Youth Park in Taipei, has been constructed based on environmental protection principles, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said at the inauguration ceremony.

“It will not just be an intelligent library; it will also serve to promote green energy and energy saving ideas,” Hau said.

Hau expressed his gratitude to Cheng Fu-tien (鄭福田, 1948-2008), the late founder of solar power pioneer Motech Industries. Cheng initiated the idea of building the energy-efficient library in Wanhua District (萬華), where he grew up, in an effort to give back to society.

The Solar Library is a two-story box-like house with a simple, minimalist, modern appearance. The unmanned library on the first floor is equipped with a radio frequency identification (RFID) system. With an RFID city public library card or EasyCard, visitors can enter and exit the library and borrow books by entering the details on a computer.

“It’s the first time we have built an unmanned library in a park,” National Central Library Director-General Tseng Shu-hsien (曾淑賢) said.

The City Public Library has previously built unmanned libraries in a shopping mall and Ximending commercial disrrict. To date, they have run smoothly without much vandalism and theft, Tseng said.

The second floor of the new library serves as an exhibition center with educational displays about the building’s structure and energy-saving features. It will also host forums and activities to promote energy-saving education, according to the HAND Initiative, a non-profit organization commissioned to run the exhibition hall.

The Solar LEO House was designed and constructed by Chang Ching-hwa (張清華) and Kuo Ying-chao (郭英釗), the architects who built Taiwan’s first “green” library in Beitou (北投), based on energy-saving ideas introduced to Taiwan by Hu Shiang-lin (胡湘玲), founder of the HAND Initiative.

According to the initiative, the library’s design emphasizes the use of natural insulation materials to keep its interior at 25oC in summer, without using air conditioners.

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