Environmentally sustainable practices integrated into institutional operations
Smith College has made significant strides in upgrading its aging campus infrastructure with a persistent drive toward collecting data—and sharing it with their engineering students.
Carbon neutrality by 2030
In 2015, Smith College was experiencing a series of metering and data problems and was seeking a way to share their energy data with their engineering program for use on academic projects. Also, Smith’s 4,100-ton chiller needed significant work.
GreenerU implemented analytics-based diagnostics on 120 electric, steam, and chilled water meters. We identified 24 problematic submeters and recommissioned or replaced them as needed. We also integrated all 120 submeters into our data analytics monitoring platform, enabling Smith to organize and analyze energy data, identify energy savings opportunities, and provide opportunities for students and faculty to use energy data for academic projects and engineering coursework.
GreenerU also worked with Smith to develop a more cost-effective alternative to replacing an 1,000-ton chiller; instead we optimized existing chillers and overhauled their three 700-ton chillers, including retrofitting them with variable frequency drives. This saved Smith $800,000 in capital costs and is generating greater energy than the original project would have achieved.
GreenerU has also done comprehensive energy-efficiency improvements in several other buildings, including a campus center, a science laboratory building, and an indoor track and tennis facility.
Using a three-pronged approach of engaging air quality and safety experts, engaging lab users, and optimizing equipment, GreenerU helps reduce energy intensity in labs.
Chillers providing comfort cooling can be updated with optimized controls systems or replaced with newer, high-efficiency models.
Ongoing commissioning, also called continuous commissioning, is an integrated, data-driven approach to building performance optimization.
Transitioning to LED lighting is one of the most effective ways of reducing energy costs on campus.
Building automation system
Building automation is the automatic centralized control of a building's heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and/or other systems.
A building envelope keeps the outside out and the inside in. A well designed envelope is critical for efficiency and comfort.
Metering or submetering are ways campuses can gather data on energy uses and identify areas for use reduction over time.
Ventilation is adding fresh air to and removing stale air from a space. Regulating air exchange by managing its volume and speed is one way to improve energy efficiency.
“In the ITT [Indoor Track and Tennis facility], it is so much more comfortable since the controls upgrades. Jody is right on top of things. His communication is great and he really has control of the Ford project.”
Ben Paquette, Manager of Mechanical Trades Smith College