City of Houston: Jesse Jones Central Library


The Jesse Jones Central Library is a six-story public library built in 1975 that is comprised of 330,000 sq. ft. of reading, meeting, office and historical records storage space. A complete interior renovation was finished in 2008, and in 2009 the City of Houston pursued a formal survey through participation in the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative Building Retrofit Program to improve energy efficiency, operations and comfort through a performance contracting partnership with Schneider Electric.


Budget cutbacks forced a delay in final development of the project. However, the City did not give up on the idea of renovating its central library visited by thousands each year. In November 2012, voters approved a public improvement bond that included upgrades to the Jesse Jones Library. In April 2014, a performance contract that included the Jesse Jones Central Library and 17 other public libraries was awarded to Schneider Electric with construction completed in 2015. The entire project will be funded through guaranteed savings over a 15 year period and will reduce energy use by 33%.



Schneider Electric reviewed architectural, mechanical, and electrical drawings and conducted field surveys for lighting, temperature controls, HVAC systems, domestic water use and building envelope. Next, they gathered information and data, which was analyzed in order to identify energy conservation measures for inclusion in a performance-based design solution.


Lighting – converted T12 lamps to more efficient T8. Installing over 1,200 occupancy sensors that turn off lights when spaces are unoccupied.

Water – retrofitted lavatories and sinks with low flow fixtures.

HVAC – air handling units were converted to a more efficient variable speed operation.

Building Automation System – a full re-commissioning and upgrade of chiller & boiler plant controls and air handler controls performed for more energy efficient operation. 

Variable Flow Conversion – variable speed controls for pumps and motors were included.

Energy Manager Monitoring – this building is included in the group of buildings monitored and review by a full-time, on-site Energy Manager employed by Schneider Electric.



Houston Public Library is a vital member of a dynamic and diverse local, national and global community and its mission is to "link people to the world". By creating a more energy-efficient building, this flagship facility, serving as the anchor point for the city-wide public library system has significantly improve its energy performance and is more capable of meeting the needs of more than 2 million residents.


Schneider Electric made a concerted effort to avoid construction during peak hours of public demand and keep building open during construction. Through improvements to HVAC equipment and controls, occupants now experience greater temperature comfort.


Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (2013)
268 kBtu/sq.ft.
Actual (2016)
174 kBtu/sq.ft.

Energy Savings:


Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2013)
Actual (2016)

Cost Savings:


Sector Type

Local Government


Houston, Texas

Project Size

330,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

Project Cost: $2.4 Million

Jesse Jones Library
Jesse Jones Library