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All Project Updates


  1. Education Building

    Associated Project(s): 

    As part of the Lighting Retrofit #5, 1,416 T-12 fixtures in the Admin Tech Info Building were replaced with more energy-efficient T-8 fixtures. This switch will incur an Annual kWh Savings of 327,869 hours. The simple payback for this project is 1.12 years.

  2. Campus Bicycle Feedback Form

    Associated Project(s): 

    F&S Transportation Demand Management (TDM) continues to improve efforts to make the Urbana campus more bicycle friendly.
    TDM’s latest initiative is a “Campus Bicycle Feedback Form” that will allow anyone to share their suggestions for bicycle-related improvements on campus.

    The feedback will help inform the Campus Bicycle Master Plan, currently under development, as well as to help determine priorities for bicycle infrastructure and programming improvements in the future. 

    Feedback topics include bike parking, rules of the road, enforcement, fix-it-stations, and the Campus Bicycle Shop. Respondents will be asked if their comments relate to a specific location on campus, to describe the situation, and then to provide contact information if a follow-up is necessary.

    See the Campus Bicycle Feedback Form at

  3. Illinois Business Consulting report - economic analysis

    The central question posed to Illinois Business Consulting (IBC) is as follows: what would be the economic impact of replacing 10% of the university’s coal intake with wood chips?  After extensive research, analysis, and calculation it is the opinion of IBC that the cogeneration of energy with coal and wood chips is not economically feasible.  The initiative has been deemed not economically feasible because wood chips are more expensive on the basis of energy content, transportation costs will increase due to biomass, and infrastructure modification expenses necessary for the operational changes are significant.

  4. Illinois Business Consulting report - carbon impact

    In 2012, F&S hired Illinois Business Consulting to evaluate the following question for Abbott Power Plant: "Can the overall carbon footprint be decreased by using 10% of biomass in place of 10% of coal?"  The report and executive summary are attached here.

  5. Final Bike Sharing Feasibility Study Submitted to SSC

    The final report for the Bike Sharing Feasibility Study was submitted to SSC. The study recommends the following three tiered approach to bicycle sharing on the Urbana-Champaign campus: 

    1. Bikes available for employees – The small existing program at Kinesiology and Community Health should be replicated at departments throughout campus. The program needs to be approved by Legal Counsel, Risk Management, Purchasing, and interested Colleges.  Then it should be promoted to departments, to encourage them to invest in bicycles for their employees and provide them with a simple support system for maintenance and tracking.
    2. Bikes available for short-term rentals – As an interim solution until the campus can handle a large-scale bike sharing program, the small existing program at Campus Recreation should be expanded with support from the Student Sustainability Committee.  They should increase the number of bicycles available, make the program self-sufficient financially, and market the program to visitors, conference attendees, faculty, staff, and students. A similar program could be investigated for the Illini Union. 
    3. Bike solutions for students and the public – Before this campus is ready to pursue a public bike sharing system, we must first address the issues regarding degraded infrastructure and the need for more bike safety education. Once these issues have been resolved, the campus should renew consideration of several options for bike sharing, such as bicycle libraries, kiosk systems, and GPS-enabled community bikes.  


  6. Revolving Loan Fund approved for $250K for LED Exit Signs

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Revolving Loan Fund is approved to fund $250K in LED Exit Sign improvements.  Here is the description of the project, as reviewed by the RLF committee:


    This project will replace existing exit signs with efficient LED fixtures in approximately (14) campus buildings.  As a result, energy use will be decreased, life safety systems will operate more reliably, and maintenance needs will decrease dramatically.  This is a continuation of projects funded in FY07 and FY08. We are requesting funding in the amount of $250,000, although the work is very scalable and any funding amount can be successfully applied. 




    08. VISIBILITY - Very visible.  Building users notice when exit signs are burned out and it may make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.  It also creates a negative impression of the pride we take in our facilities.

    09. PAYBACK PERIOD - When replacing incandescent, the payback from energy savings alone is about 6-7 years.  Replacement of fluorescent exit signs yields a payback of 8-10 years.  However, the old signs also require maintenance up to 3 times per year.  If one includes this expense, the overall payback improves to 1-2 years.

    10. REDUCTION OF COAL - By reducing overall campus energy use, this will contribute to Abbott Power Plant s ability to reduce the number of generation units in use.  An additional benefit is the reduction in GHG emissions from maintenance vehicles traveling to replace burned out lamps.

    11. FUND SIZE IMPACT - F&S is working with the Illinois DCEO and this project would qualify for about $7,000 in grant rebates.

    12. PROJECT COORDINATION - F&S has a record of success with these projects.  We have developed a project execution method that keeps overhead to a bare minimum, avoids expensive consultant fees, purchases material at bulk prices, and achieves maximum labor efficiency.  F&S Construction Services will execute the work, and F&S Engineering will document results for the DCEO grant.




    01. REPLACEMENT OF FACILITY SYSTEMS - Existing exit signs are typically long past their expected life, and have many maintenance problems.  The new LED exit signs will have an expected useful life of at least 15-20 years.

    03. IMPACT ON PLANNED PROJECTS - Very little impact on capital projects.  We coordinate to ensure no overlap between buildings selected for exit sign replacement and planned major renovations.

    04. WHAT IF PROJECT IS NOT FUNDED? - If this project is not funded, our campus will continue to expend many maintenance hours keeping these lights operational, and waste electricity on inefficient technology that is over 20 years outdated.

    If this project is partially funded, we will install as many LED exit signs as possible with the funds allocated.

    06. WHAT OTHER DEPARTMENTS ARE AFFECTED BY THE PROJECT? - The buildings we propose are all across campus and used by virtually every college and department.  These units will benefit from improved safety and fewer maintenance disruptions.

    07. RISK FACTORS - No known risk factors.  In fact this work will reduce the risks associated with having nonfunctioning exit signs, and improve life safety for the campus community.  We have executed this type of work in 25 buildings so far without major problems.

  7. Imported Swine Research Laboratory

    Associated Project(s): 

    As part of the Lighting Retrofit #5, 323 T-12 fixtures in the Imported Swine Research Laboratory were replaced with more energy-efficient T-8 fixtures. This switch will incur an Annual kWh Savings of 50,918 hours. The simple payback for this project is 3.56 years.

  8. Labor & Employment Relations

    Associated Project(s): 

    As part of the Lighting Retrofit #5, 179 T-12 fixtures in the Admin Tech Info Building were replaced with more energy-efficient T-8 fixtures. This switch will incur an Annual kWh Savings of 29,829 hours. The simple payback for this project is 3.48 years.

  9. Board of Trustees approves Solar Farm

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois approved the purchase plans for the Solar Farm on Thursday.  The next steps are to complete the Development Agreement, Land-Lease Agreement, and Power Purchase Agreement.  Once these are completed, the Solar Farm vendor will begin the design and implementation of the Solar Farm at the southwest corner of Windsor Road and First Street.  The entire site should be completed and operational by the end of 2013.