3 days, 45 buildings, over 1,240,000 square feet, and a ton of savings.
In the past, ECO's Energy and Controls team implemented campus-wide shutdowns of non-essential buildings over major administrative holidays (Thanksgiving, Winter holidays, etc). These shutdowns have proved to be extremely successful, saving thousands of dollars and kBtus* each time! Our goal moving forward is to implement these shutdowns in more buildings and over more holidays.
How this works
Each building is controlled by a complex digital control system which automates the operation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for each building. Our team implemented new holiday schedules to lower setpoints and adjust the equipment operation schedules for non-critical spaces in buildings to create savings.
Similar to turning down your heater or flipping off all the lights before you leave the house, these adjustments ensured we weren't pumping energy into buildings that were not in use.
Here's a snapshot of what the team accomplished in just 3 days over Labor Day weekend:
Where does this come from?
This energy saving comes from a combination of the three main energy utilities that serve most campus buildings:
We broke down the exact amount of kbtu and dollars saved by each type of energy (steam, electricity, and chilled water) so you can see exactly where we found the savings!
Thanks to our Shutdown Savings Stars!
These savings are made possible in large part due to the work of Sam Cole, who coordinates the shutdowns across campus, and Dan Colvin, who creates detailed energy models to assess the actual amount of energy saved. Petar Grujich, Joe Lestanguet, (Building Maintenance Services) and Armando Casillas (Energy Intern) were also instrumental in the savings effort. Much credit for the shutdown success is due to the patience and feedback of the facility managers in many buildings across campus.
Thanks to the work of our Energy and Controls Team, we hope to keep saving energy during future shutdowns.
*kBtus are units used in building energy use tracking and heating system sizing. A kBtu stands for 1,000 British thermal units.