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notes from iCAP Forum Energy Conservation table

Posted by Morgan White on April 20, 2014


Fred Hahn, Doris Reeser, Brian Deal, Claire McConnell, Karl Helmink, Josh Whitson, Dhora Patel, Kevin Duff, Eva Sweeney

Campus needs a comprehensive Energy Conservation Master Plan.  The SAIC report is now outdated, and the Utilities Master Plan focuses on generation, not conservation.

It can be difficult to balance energy conservation goals with programmatic needs.  Some examples:

Illinois Plumbing Code still limits our ability to pursue gray-water systems Historic Preservation of building exteriors impacts building envelope improvements Facility Standards call for buildings designed for a 100 year life.  Is this appropriate in all cases?

Life Cycle Analysis of buildings - not merely cost analysis but including program benefits, social, etc Can researchers be persuaded to e.g. run experiments at night to save peak energy costs?

Need to "connect the dots" with departments and budgets so that energy and programmatic needs are both met

Need greater involvement from Space Planning, especially for the Net Zero Square Foot goal

How much low hanging fruit is left?  Energy conservation so far has been ahead of schedule but will become more difficult as we go.  Most felt that achieving 30% reduction is "easy", 50% not so easy, >50% is difficult.

Can we truly achieve net zero carbon?  Research activities will necessarily produce emissions and use energy.

ASHRAE 90.1-2010 is now state law; this raises the bar significantly for building energy efficiency on all projects

LEED Platinum also raises the bar starting 2015.  One challenge is that connection to our central plant utilities limits every project's ability to earn energy points, due to Abbott fossil fuel use.  Other points must be pursued.

Goals set should be high, because this spurs investment in projects to achieve them.  We have seen the results of this already with significant increase in energy conservation funding due to iCAP.

Fume Hoods remain a major opportunity for savings, but departments need incentives to upgrade or remove.

Otherwise they will keep existing fume hoods "just in case".  Possibly implement utility fee per fume hood?

** Decentralized billing for utility consumption is a major priority.  Units need to be stakeholders in energy savings, if they can reap the benefits they will make more efforts to conserve.

Increase transparency/outreach so campus community can see progress.  Energy Dashboards, etc.

DIA involvement should be increased (Memorial Stadium, Assembly Hall) as they are a large energy user.

** Net Zero Space initiative was discussed.  Currently the iCAP targets do not align with the Campus Master Plan which shows overall growth.  Space Planning needs to be involved.

Currently, departments have no incentive to give up unused or underused space.  Many buildings have space that could be utilized more fully rather than construct new. 

Space Planning needs much more involvement in general, this can reduce construction of new space, save energy and construction costs.  Currently, F&S Planning asks units to justify space needs, but this process is not robust.  Nobody has authority to say "no".

Some individuals have 3 or more private offices assigned to them around campus--wasting space.

Increase shared offices, hoteling, teleconference, etc.

Implement some kind of "rent" on building space would provide incentive to downsize?

For reference, regular building maintenance is approx. $2.50/sq.ft. exclusive of energy.

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