The Belk Library and Information Commons was the first building on campus to incorporate many of the goals of the LEED (U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) program.
The Library exterior lighting utilizes special reflectors in order to prevent light from traveling upward and polluting the night sky.
The following measures were incorporated to achieve water efficiency: *the landscaping is mostly native and water efficient (no irrigation system was required) *all bathroom fixtures have sensors that automatically turn faucets on and off *all bathroom fixtures have sensors that automatically flush the toilets and urinals
The following measures were incorporated to achieve energy and resource efficiency: *the mechanical system is designed to make the most use of the ambient air temperatures *the central chiller plant utilizes reduced CFC coolant that is environmentally friendly *abundance of exterior glass windows allows for natural day lighting while electronic shades are used to reduce heat build up *the high efficiency glass provides shielding from 80 to 90 % of harmful ultraviolet light rays *lights in offices, small group study rooms, and classrooms automatically turn off after 15 minutes of non-movement
The library was the first state owned building in North Carolina to install a GEN 2 elevator system that does not require a roof top machine room and is 50% more energy efficient than typical elevators. The elevators are also quieter and faster.
The following environmentally friendly materials were incorporated into the library building: *the carpet is made of partially recycled material and is itself completely recyclable *cork flooring is used on the 4th floor. Cork is a sustainable resource because cork can be harvested by stripping the bark from cork trees w/o damaging or killing the tree. Cork also absorbs sound and is less expensive than solid wood flooring. *the steel structural frame is made of 75% recycled steel
During construction, a waste management team helped divert construction waste from the landfill.
Recycling bins are located throughout the building.
The library is the largest "computer lab" on campus and the printers in the library are the most heavily used. In fall 2012, printing was set campus wide to default to be duplex (two-sided).