Energy & Controls Engineering

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Improving the efficiency, occupant comfort, and financial well-being of campus buildings.

ACE at a table

Controls Engineering provides engineering and management oversight for the campus Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) control systems. Their responsibilities include:

  • Collaboration with the HVAC technicians that manage the daily operations of the control systems.
  • Implementation of energy projects involving the HVAC control systems.
  • Planning upgrades to the current system.
  • Developing a vision for the future of these systems.
  • Review of control systems in new campus building projects.
  • Developing campus standards related to HVAC control system.
  • Supporting HVAC control system commissioning efforts in new buildings.

Energy Engineering plans, develops and oversees energy projects in campus buildings. Their responsibilities include:

  • Managing our Active Commissioning Enterprise (ACE) program, which aims to optimize the HVAC systems in our large, energy-intensive buildings on campus. After ACE projects, buildings typically see their energy consumption reduced by 15 to 20%, and comfort is often improved in the process – a win-win for occupants and the campus. Read our Ghausi energy report to learn more about what an ACE project can look like.
  • Developing and overseeing the implementation of campus-wide efficiency upgrades, including:
    • Scheduling optimization: We work to better match the hours of operation of non-critical HVAC systems with actual occupancy patterns of each building (labs and animal spaces are required to be ventilated and conditioned 24/7 and are never on a schedule).
    • Holiday shutdowns: During holiday weekends, many spaces are unoccupied and do not need to be conditioned. Scheduling off non-critical HVAC systems for these weekends requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work, but yields significant energy savings.
    • Comfort band implementations: We are helping implement more uniform temperature setpoints across campus to improve comfort and better adapt to changes in seasons and attire.
    • Small Workspace Air & Remote Monitoring (SWARM) project: This project aims to connect the myriad of small buildings on campus to a centralized system for HVAC scheduling and energy monitoring.
    • Project Night Owl: What goes on in buildings at night? Usually not much, yet energy usage often stays high at night. We are working on ways to address that.
  • Support for Green Building certification efforts
  • Energy tool development
    • Fault detection and diagnostic tools for HVAC systems, which can automatically detect system issues that are wasting energy.
    • Measurement and verification tools: We use industry-standard modeling methods to precisely quantify the energy savings that our projects generate, and are developing tools to automate this process.