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A walking tour of the Chattanooga Public Library, led by one of the original architects, will explain the landmark building's brutalist design elements. The tour is one of several events marking the library's 40th on Broad anniversary.

Chattanooga's Public Library will get new lighting, heating and air conditioning next year to cut its electricity consumption by more than a third and serve as a showcase for the city's participation in the Better Buildings Challenge.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said today the city is working to cut its energy use by 20 percent over the next decade in its 200 municipal buildings and the library will be one of the most visible and significant parts of that effort in 2017.

"We have a chance over the next 10 years to substantially reduce the energy consumption of our city government and this right here is our showcase project," Berke said during a news conference outside of the 40-year-old library at Broad and 10th Street. "When you can improve the quality of a building and make sure it is a better place, as well as making it more energy efficient, then you have a home run and that's what this is today."

The library will get 108 new LED energy-efficient lights and new HVAC equipment next year as part of $1.5 million of planned building improvements, library director Corrine Hill said. A portion of that investment should be paid through federal, TVA and EPB incentives.

Erik Schmidt, director of sustainability for the city of Chattanooga, estimates the upgrade should cut the library's annual $184,451 electric bill by 34 percent.

Better Buildings is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designed to improve the encourage governments and businesses to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2025. In Chattanooga, the city, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Erlanger hospital have all joined the challenge.

Schmidt said the city has already cut its energy use by 7 percent from the 2013 base year and is looking to make additional improvements next year.

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