State Library of Victoria

Being one of the oldest buildings in Melbourne’s CBD, the State Library requires high-quality maintenance of its assets including management of thermal and mechanical plant, water and building controls.

As appointed mechanical services maintenance providers, A.G. Coombs’ service technicians take ownership of all service delivery to meet specific, non-standard service requirements to achieve optimum energy efficiency. The high quality of day-to-day mechanical services being delivered is helping to improve building operations, leading to less wear and tear on the Library’s plant and less downtime.

One of the most successful initiatives has been the implementation of a ‘dead band’ strategy, whereby mechanical services equipment will not operate unless temperatures fall outside a set temperature band. Fans continue to provide air flow but without the need to cool or heat, reducing chiller and boiler loads. Together with the State Library’s in-house expertise, A.G. Coombs has helped to successfully implement this strategy through fine-tuning existing equipment, resulting in a 7-10% reduction in energy usage each month and a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

A.G. Coombs also has to ensure that room temperature in the Library’s collection storage areas remains constant at 21 degrees Celsius, with scope for only a 1 degree fluctuation either way. In addition, relative humidity levels are kept at 50%, with only a 5% drift allowance each way. Building and temperature settings have been reviewed by Library maintenance engineers and have been reset to avoid wasting energy while still preserving collection material and retaining comfort standards. As the Library operates seven days a week, these relatively minor changes have a significant impact.

We are very happy with the significant energy savings achieved by A.G. Coombs Servicing in conjunction with our in-house maintenance engineers. Implementation of the dead band strategy has been a huge success, with improvements promising to have ongoing benefits for years to come.

Margaret Ford, Building Facilities Manager, State Library of Victoria

Project Overview

Project Name: State Library of Victoria

Location: VIC

Client: State Library of Victoria

Project Type

Maintenance and mechanical services


  • Improved overall building efficiency and reliability.
  • Successful implementation of the dead band strategy, which has reduced energy consumption by 7-10% each month and carbon emissions by approximately 1,050 tCO2-e per annum.
  • Energy-saving achievements over two years, including a decrease in electricity usage of 10% and gas usage of 17%.
  • Improved time scheduling for Air Handling Units (AHUs) to control the supply of heating and cooling.
  • Zero Lost Time Injury reported to date.

Latest News & Publications

Related Case Studies