291329 Energy Conservation in Higher Education Facilities

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 3:15 PM
327 (Convention Center )
Dr. Robert W. Peters1, Atul Kajale2, Zhuo Li1 and Matthew Winslett3, (1)Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, (2)University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, (3)Facilities Management, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Sustainability has become an important aspect in planning and design of many new construction projects. Initially, commercial and industrial buildings became the main focus of the sustainability and green house reduction programs as these buildings had great potential for improvements. Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification helps in incorporating energy and water conservation techniques in the new and already existing structures. Higher education buildings such as universities and research institutes that are built prior to 10 years ago have tremendous potential for energy and water conservation. Higher education facilities operate buildings which can be categorized as administration buildings, education buildings (classrooms), research buildings (laboratories both medical/clinical and engineering laboratories), libraries, dormitories, and cafeterias. Resource consumption and occupancy of these buildings vary from each other as each building type serves different purposes.

      This paper describes various approaches being undertaken at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to reduce energy consumption on campus. This paper addresses the following approaches being implemented at UAB:

  • Programmed equipment setbacks during unoccupied times;
  • Installation of efficient lighting upgrades with occupancy sensed lighting controls;
  • Installation of variable frequency drives (VFD’s precisely control electric motor speeds based on needed load);
  • Installation of more accurate and efficient control valves for hot and chilled water distribution;
  • Installation of more efficient vacuum and compressed air pumping systems that drastically reduce water usage;
  • Recovery of condensate water (from conditioned air) and ground water for use in evaporative cooling towers;
  • Grid-free solar-charged electric cars; and
  • Pilot vegetated roof on Hulsey Center.

Extended Abstract: File Uploaded
See more of this Session: Green Engineering and Sustainability In Collegiate Curriculum
See more of this Group/Topical: Environmental Division