COVID-era building operations have included suggestions such as increasing filtration or ventilation rates “as much as systems will allow.” But as the colder weather approaches, how will facilities manage energy use—and costs?
The U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® provides a platform for benchmarking the energy performance of all kinds of commercial buildings. Energy managers on college campuses, however, often face a challenge in both accurately metering energy at the building level and categorizing buildings under the Portfolio Manager framework of use types. Now the new Higher Education Benchmarking Initiative seeks to collect campus-wide data from colleges and universities across North America—and offer energy scorecards in return.
Sustainability and facilities professionals are uniquely positioned to lead campus efforts to encourage safe behaviors among campus occupants during this pandemic. What is your plan to keep students, staff, and faculty engaged in prolonged physical distancing and other measures to prevent coronavirus surges?
Here’s how one university has joined their reputation for excellence in dining with an efficient sustainability metric tracking system through community-distributed responsibility—and won awards for both.
Over more than 200 years, one Ivy League medical school has launched some of the most important discoveries in history. Now it’s investigating ways to make its campus buildings perform better and use less energy...much like the squirrels they study.
Nearly 4 million people participated in worldwide climate strikes last September, in solidarity with 17-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who made the trek to New York City across the Atlantic by boat. It’s no coincidence that teenagers are some of the most engaged climate activists today. How are their schools rising to the challenge?
Now that coronavirus restrictions are beginning to lift, schools are beginning to grapple with how to allow students, faculty, and staff to return to campus safely. According to Avasant Research, “universities are preparing for substantial economic fallout, both from less revenue from student tuition and the risk that there will be fewer international—and higher fee-paying—students in their next intake.” Budget cuts are expected across the board on nearly all school campuses, but facilities departments may be looking at additional operating and capital expenses when making accommodations for physical distancing and sanitation measures.
In this interactive panel discussion, we discussed challenges and strategies on campuses to manage and prioritize facilities budgets while transitioning from the coronavirus shutdowns. Special thanks to guest panelists, who included Mary Dukakis, Vice President of Operational Services, Southern New Hampshire University; Bob LaVigne, Vice President for Operations, Nichols College; and Karla Youngblood, Director of Facilities Operations, Amherst College.
We don’t know what impact SARS COV-2 has on our HVAC systems. In a letter published in March in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers described how aerosolized coronavirus particles can remain viable for up to three hours in the air, meaning they could infect a person hours after being expelled. Factors such as humidity levels, ventilation, and routine maintenance can help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. In this community discussion on April 24, 2020, GreenerU's building experts share suggested guidelines for operating buildings during the shutdown.
Unoccupied buildings on college campuses during the coronavirus shutdown are approaching the summer months, when temperatures are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' disease. Do you know the steps to flushing out your building's multiple systems? What are you doing to manage potential contamination in drinking fountains, decorative water fountains, ice makers, and other parts of your campus?
Some of nation's leading water quality experts from Chem-Aqua offer some straightforward, easy advice on testing, flushing, and documenting your campus water systems and answered your questions below.