Fairfield University in Connecticut has employed many measures to reduce energy, and its Associate Vice President of Facilities David Frassinelli offers the following ideas for how other colleges and universities can do the same:
>>Retrofit elevators with regenerative converters. When an elevator moves in a down direction with a full load of passengers, it creates energy. With a regenerative drive, this clean energy can be directed back into a building’s power grid and used by other building systems.
>>Equip dorms with high-efficiency, front-loading washing machines, which can consume 50 percent less water than traditional top-loading washers and help conserve energy by reducing the time clothes need to be in the dryer.
>>Adopt energy efficient LED lighting as the standard fixture for replacing exterior lighting. Try 94 Watt “cut off” fixtures, which can greatly reduce light pollution. In addition to saving significant electrical consumption, the LED fixtures have a life span of 70,000 hours compared to 25,000 hours for conventional fixtures.
>>Display energy dashboards to spur changes in behavior. Present dashboards on closed circuit televisions around campus.
>>Install a combined heat and power (CHP) plant to recover otherwise wasted heat to produce hot water for campus heating and cooling. Although CHP systems are costly, grants and tax credits might help cover some of the price tag.
Picture of Fairfield University’s campus garden