RMIT Boosts Melbourne’s Sustainability Sector

August 18, 2014 By Karen Henry

melbourne-australia-energy-manageRMIT University’s $98 million dollar energy and water efficiency upgrade program is providing a big boost to Victoria, Australia’s sustainability sector, according to an article in The Fifth Estate. Honeywell and Siemens are beginning the construction and installation phase of the program’s first projects.

Upgrades are being made to 90 buildings, with projected energy savings of 239 million kWh over three years. While the designs are not yet finalized, preliminary plans involve the installation of gas-fired co-generation and trigeneration and the deployment of solar power capacity.

Energy generated from these initiatives will not feed the main grid, but rather will be used to across RMIT’s three campuses to reduce the university’s use of coal-fired power.

Siemens and Honeywell have both signed energy performance contracts for their projects, which commits them to achieving the energy efficiency targets proposed in the feasibility studies. If the targets are not achieved within the agreed-to eight-year investment payback period, the companies are liable for the financial shortfall.

As part of the overall program, RMIT will research how the building management services data can be used to drive best practices in asset management. The data will be used to help measure the success of the Siemens and Honeywell projects during the eight-year measurement and verification period that will follow completion of their projects.

RMIT is also planning to research the social aspects of energy-efficiency initiatives, specifically, the impact inhabiting and using buildings containing energy efficiency and water efficiency technologies has on people.

Photo of Melbourne, Australia, via Shutterstock.

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