Investments in Energy Efficiency

In 2016, the College conducted an audit that identified $2 million that could be invested in energy-saving ventures. A wide variety of technologies and strategies are included in this investment, from LED lighting and control-system optimization to cap insulation and window replacement. Together, the identified projects would provide $240,000 in annual cost savings at an internal rate of return of 11 perecent. For fiscal year 2018, the College has committed $510,000 toward these sustainability and energy-efficiency projects. As the Green Revolving Fund grows, it will be used for these investments as well.

New Community Center

Image of external view of community center

The new Community Center currently under construction, opening in 2018, provides a great opportunity to strengthen our commitment to campus sustainability. By converting six dining halls to one, we will reduce our carbon footprint significantly. First and foremost, with dining all in one place, our needs for equipment and supplies will be streamlined. This will result in fewer truck deliveries around campus and a reduction in food waste. The project is designed and constructed to LEED Silver-equivalent standards, meaning it will be resource-efficient and cost-effective. Key sustainability features of the project include:

  • Thermal panels will reduce the amount of natural gas needed to heat the building’s hot water
  • rain garden for stormwater runoff filtration
  • efficient heating and cooling controls
  • LED lighting and daylight controls
  • food waste dehydrators, producing a product that can be used as a soil amendment and reducing the footprint of transporting food waste off-site for composting
  • kitchen grease converted to biofuel by a local vendor
  • Energy Star dishwasher and other equipment replacing, in most cases, 20-year-old equipment
  • efficient centralized refrigeration system
  • variable-velocity exhaust hoods controlled with heat and smoke sensors that save energy by minimizing exhaust
  • no bottled beverages in the main dining area

Examples of Ongoing Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Initiatives

  • LEED certification of Blanchard and the Science Center. Gold Certification at Creighton Hall. The College is committed to design to LEED Silver for all new construction, including the under-construction Community Center.
  • Solar hot water on Creighton Hall and thermal panels new Community Center.
  • Lighting retrofits to more efficient LED fixtures. Brigham and Porter were the most recent retrofits, in 2016. Over 90 percent of exterior lighting has been retrofitted to LED.
  • Energy-recovery loop and hood-balancing in Carr Laboratory improves energy efficiency in one of the most energy-intensive buildings on campus.
  • Attic-sealing and cap-insulation projects in North and South Rockefeller, North and South Mandelle, Mead and Wilder halls.
  • Flue-gas economizer at the Central Heating Plant captures and reuses waste heat, improving efficiency by up to 5 percent.
  • A centralized chilled-water loop replaces less efficient building and window air-conditioning units.
  • Lighting retrofits in Kendall and a motion-activated thermostat in the Kendall dance studio.
  • Over 99 percent of electronics purchased by the College are EPEAT-Gold registered; 95 percent of the paper purchased has recycled content, and over 50 percent of our cleaning products meet third-party-certified sustainability standards.
  • Over 57 percent of waste materials are diverted from the landfill by recycling, composting and donations.
  • Potable water use on campus has been reduced by 15 percent between 2005 and 2016.
  • A living-learning community called Healthy Green Living will facilitate students who share common educational, social and cocurricular interests living together in a residence hall.