University Slashes Energy with Eighth LEED-Certified Site

Bucknell University Graham Building LEED energy
Interior of the Graham Building. Credit: Brett Simpson for Bucknell University

Bucknell University’s energy-saving health and wellness building earned LEED Silver certification, making it the eighth construction project on campus to achieve at least basic LEED certification, the university reported this week. The 36,000-square-foot Graham Building uses 26% less energy than buildings with conventional energy systems.

The building was created through a $12 million investment, according to the university, and officially opened last year. It currently houses the student health center, the counseling and development center, and a training facility for the university’s wrestling team.

Features include large well-insulated windows on three sides of the building that reduce the need for electric lighting during the day. Occupancy sensors automatically adjust the temperature and turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms.

“These and other measures cut the building’s energy use by approximately one-quarter,” the university’s Matt Hughes wrote. “Bucknell has purchased renewable energy credits generated by wind power equal to 100% of projected electricity use by the building for two years.”

Energy performance is optimized beyond conventional standards in order to reduce the environmental and economic impacts associated with excessive energy use, the building project description says.

Earlier this year, the private liberal arts school in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, received LEED Silver certification for Roberts Hall, originally constructed in 1858. Renovations cut energy use by 30%, even though air conditioning was added.

Bucknell University has also been working on LED lighting retrofits. Installations at four sites on campus this year cost $266,400 with a 3.75-year payback period. As a result of reduced energy usage and maintenance required for the lights, the university expects to save more than $2.1 million on operations costs over a 20-year period.

We are accepting submissions for the 2018 Energy Manager Today Product and Project Awards. The final deadline is December 15, 2017. Learn more here.

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