Upon entering the new millennium, thousands of rare, antique books will be preserved for future generations with the help of Carrier cooling equipment in the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina, or The Great Library of Alexandria, set to open on the shores of Egypt's oldest Mediterranean city.
Perfectly located on the site where Euclid and Eratosthenes taught geometry and astronomy more than 2,300 years ago, the library will provide scholars with an environment more conducive to learning than that enjoyed by their ancient forbearers, who traveled from all over the region to study in the best stocked library of the age.
The cooling system includes four 19XR Evergreen® centrifugal chillers, using non-ozone depleting, chlorine-free R-134a refrigerant. Each of the 2,110 kW units provides approximately 3,500 tons of cooling. The system also uses sixty 39FX air handling units, twenty-one 42VC fan coil units and thirty-two 35DA variable air volume units. Located in a basement mechanical room of the 13-floor structure, the system is designed to ensure a yearlong uniform temperature within the library, providing comfort for visitors and helping to preserve the library's vast collection.
The 743,000 sq. ft (69,000m2) library will accommodate up to eight million volumes, hundreds of thousands of manuscripts, tapes, compact discs and videotapes, and will serve as a center for research into the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. The library will accommodate 3,500 visitors and a staff of 578. The complex also includes a 3,200-seat conference center, a science museum, planetarium, school of information studies, and a calligraphy institute.
The new Great Library, which will be sloped towards the sea and partly submerged in a pool of water, is designed as a simple circle in the image of the Egyptian sun, that in contemporary terms will illuminate the world and human civilization. An inclined roof allows indirect daylight and a clear view of the sea. An elevated passageway links the University of Alexandria to the Cornice. The building is surrounded by a wall clad with Aswan granite engraved with calligraphic letters and representative inscriptions from the world civilizations.