Sunday, April 14, 2013

Energy-Savings Upgrades, by Becky Franzel

New renovations in Wimberly continue the campus’s goal to become more environmentally friendly. Dan Sweetman, the Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability Program Manager, says during the renovation the university installed “better designed and more energy efficient lighting fixtures," which call for 25 watt 4 foot fluorescent lamps instead of the standard 32 watt.

Over the summer, UWL also began to install new LED lights on Badger Street with hopes of completing this project next summer. In previous years, Sweetman includes, the university has installed “efficient lighting in Mitchell Fieldhouse and gymnasium, replace[d] an existing boiler in UWL’s Heating Plant with two high efficiency gas boilers, and [is in the process of placing]higher efficiency hot water heating systems in older residence halls.”

By building Centennial and Eagle Hall according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Standards, the university hopes to reduce its carbon footprint as well as bring down heating and energy costs.  The buildings should consume 30% less energy than traditionally built buildings in order to be LEED certified. Signs have been installed inside and outside of Eagle Hall highlighting their most eco-friendly features, such as more water and energy efficiency. The information on these signs can also be applied to Centennial. 

While these new renovations make it easier for students to become more eco-friendly while on campus, Sweetman says, “When any of us take a sustainable action, we should not do so because it is easy, we have to recognize in our minds that it is the right thing to do.” The installations, such as new bike racks and water bottle filling stations, are only successful if students make an effort to use them.