Ichabods In Depth

Learn about campus energy efficiency upgrades at meeting Tuesday

Girl walking in front of Stoffer Science Hall's glass frontThe ongoing campus-wide energy efficiency upgrade program will be discussed at a town hall meeting beginning 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in Henderson Learning Resources Center room 112.

Anyone – students, faculty, staff or the public – can attend to find out why lights now automatically shut off in some hallways and how much money and carbon emissions the university will save because of the $12.3 million project and more.

In one year, Washburn is expected to save $618,000 in utility costs and 4,588 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Based on that savings, the improvements will have paid for themselves in 13.7 years, and “the savings will continue for decades,” said Rick Anderson, vice president for administration and treasurer, at a similar meeting in March.

In addition to improving lighting and water fixtures in 15 buildings and at Washburn Tech, several of those buildings will receive new heating and cooling systems, including new in-room and Internet-based controls.

The energy savings program is based on defined “standards of comfort” that are adjustable two degrees up or two degrees down. Only occupied spaces will be conditioned, said Keven Ward, a consultant with Trane Corporation.

Anderson said staying within that range will be crucial: “We do need to meet those targets in order to reach those savings.”

Replacing heating and cooling systems – some of which are 50 or more years old -- will provide consistent office and classroom temperature, said Ed Wiss of Washburn's facilities services, meaning the need for portable heaters should be eliminated.

“We want to fix the problem at the root source,” he said.

Washburn’s infrastructure needs were analyzed over six months and the improvements with the highest return on investment were included in the improvement program. The effort is being funded with an energy performance contract authorized by Kansas statute for funding public infrastructure improvement.

With the exception of major work at the Memorial Union and Morgan Hall, disruption should be minimal. The improvements should be completed in fall 2014. Details are available at www.washburn.edu/construction.

Upcoming informational meetings regarding campus improvements:
Town Hall: Tuesday, April 9, 12:15 p.m., Henderson Learning Resources Center room 112.
17th Street improvement: Thursday, April 11, 4:30-6 p.m. in the lobby of White Concert Hall