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Energy Efficient Development

Strategies that reduce energy consumption at campus facilities

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As higher education institutions strive to lower operating costs, energy efficiency represents a major savings opportunity.

By minimizing energy consumption, colleges and universities can direct savings toward valuable initiatives, such as new research, expanded programs, or additional facilities for students and faculty.

In other words, energy efficiency allows institutions to reduce expenses and achieve growth objectives, all in an environmentally sustainable fashion.

TUFF helps institutions pursue energy efficient developments and renovations.

TUFF is dedicated to reducing energy and water consumption through facilities upgrades and energy efficient development practices. Specifically, TUFF helps institutions identify energy savings opportunities, integrate sustainability into an overall development plan, and direct savings toward objectives that align with their mission.

Aging equipment, inefficient mechanical systems, and a lack of automation are common at institutions with older facilities. All contribute to high operating costs and often require redesign or replacement. And for institutions pursuing new facilities, energy efficient infrastructure is essential for achieving long-term affordability.

By creating strategies for energy efficient facilities development, TUFF’s partners enjoy lower day-to-day expenses and increased flexibility for future investment, development, and growth.

Georgia Tech – Technology Square

At the Technology Square Research Building (TSRB), TUFF financed numerous upgrades, including:

  • Lighting retrofits that involved removal of ⅓ of all lamps
  • CO2 sensors integrated into ventilation demand controls
  • Wireless sub-meters with over 60 access points to control allocation and demand
  • Line reactor capacitors to mitigate reactive power at end use devices
  • A real-time energy and water use dashboard installed in the building’s lobby

Thanks to these upgrades, the TSRB decreased energy use by more than 32% and netted an annual savings of more than $177,000. The building’s Energy Star rating also increased from 35 to 75 on a scale of 100.

At the nearby Centergy One building, a variety of energy efficiency upgrades included:

  • 12,000 new lamps
  • Replacement of outdoor CFL lighting with LEDs
  • New lighting controls
  • Day cleaning
  • Continuous commissioning

As a result of these changes, Centergy One achieved an Energy Star rating of 92 and reduced energy consumption by 28%. Annual savings from the upgrades totals more than $350,000.

Atlanta University Center Consortium – Central Utility Plant

At the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC), an aging utility plant had imposed major limitations on member institutions’ budgets. Through an investment from TUFF, the AUCC upgraded essential infrastructure at the plant and realized substantial energy savings.

Specific enhancements for the $12 million renovation and subsequent $4 million expansion included:

  • 1 new chiller for expanded air conditioning capacity
  • 2 high-efficiency, gas-powered boilers
  • 1 high-efficiency electric boiler
  • New distribution piping among facilities

Ultimately, the AUCC realized an annual savings of 15,109,080 kilowatt hours or 27% – the equivalent CO2 emissions from 1,555 homes.

Georgia Tech – Cobb County Research Campus

Following a $14 million renovation of the 160,000 square-foot Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) facility, the University benefited from major energy renovations:

  • New chillers
  • Zoned HVAC equipment
  • Sensor-based lighting systems

Thanks to these upgrades, the GTRI facility achieved a 40% cost reduction, including a savings of $800,000 in energy, capital repairs, and maintenance. Lease costs are also fully reimbursable under research grants.