To Save Energy, College Bans Mini-Fridges
Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts has banned the use of dorm room mini-fridges in its new residence as it targets higher LEED ratings, reports The Atlantic Cities.
The George A. Weygand Hall, designed by architecture firm Perkins+Will, was mandated by the state to achieve at least a LEED Silver rating. But, largely due to its impressive energy efficiency, the firm now expects the building to win LEED Gold certification,¬†the web site reports.
Mini-fridges are “by far” the biggest consumers of energy plugged into to the walls by students, according to¬†David Damon, an associate principal at the firm. In their stead, Perkins+Will have installed full-size Energy Star-compliant fridges in every suite of four to six students,¬†the web site reports.
Eliminating the mini-fridges should save the university about 4 kbtu of energy per square foot per year, translating to about $16,000 per year, according to the news outlet. The $53,000 spent for the full-size fridges will be payed back in less than three years.
According to the firm’s energy analysis, the mini-fridge ban ranks third on a list of the building’s eight innovations that save the most energy. A “geo-exchange system” – a series of underground wells that help with temperature control and improved insulation will both save more energy.
Energex, a Vancouver, BC, developer of occupancy sensors installed 275 sensors¬†across two residence buildings at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario, the company announced in January.
The project reduced energy consumption by nearly 150,000 kWh between August and November 2012. As a result, utility costs for both buildings were reduced by over $26,000. It is projected that the system will pay for itself within two years, after which Conestoga College will continue to receive the cost savings resulting from reduced energy consumption.
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