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Lighting the way

LED upgrades part of energy and facility renewal program

special feature: Sustainable World

Part of a special feature showcasing Memorial’s leadership and expertise in a more sustainable Newfoundland and Labrador, with a particular focus on economic and social sustainability.

By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Memorial’s energy performance contract with Honeywell is literally lighting the way for greater energy efficiency in the university’s buildings.

Five thousand of an anticipated total of 53,000 energy-efficient light tubes have recently been installed.

“One of the first projects we began was the replacement of light tubes throughout 63 buildings on the St. John’s and Grenfell campuses,” said Jason Daniels, manager, major capital projects, Facilities Management.

“We are installing T8 LEDs, which will provide a 30 per cent to 50 per cent energy savings and have approximately a 60 per cent longer life expectancy than the fluorescent versions they are replacing.”

By comparison, the new lights use about 14 or 16 watts compared to the 32 or 40 watts of their predecessors.

Project on schedule

The project to replace the lighting is progressing on schedule and work has been completed in eight buildings.

These include Facilities Management, the utilities annex, the Queen Elizabeth II Library, the Biotechnology building, the Business Administration building, the parking garage, the Earth Sciences building, and the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation.

Work under the energy performance contract is anticipated to run until September 2019.

In addition to installing the high-efficiency lighting systems and controls, the project will include upgrading heating, ventilation and cooling equipment; upgrading and optimizing building system and equipment controls; sealing air gaps in windows and doors to more effectively maintain conditioned air; and a desktop power management strategy.

Positive environmental impacts

The contract with Honeywell is valued at $28.4 million and has guaranteed annual savings of more than $1.5 million.

The work will result in a reduction of 1,634 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, equivalent to removing approximately 547 cars from the road each and every year.

This is the second phase of a project that began in 2009, which saw the university realize over $13 million in savings to date and resulted in reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 3,860 tonnes per year — equivalent to removing nearly 1,300 cars from the road each year.

Addressing deferred maintenance

A targeted $6 million of critical deferred maintenance will be addressed through the EPC.

“We acknowledge the university is facing fiscal challenges, and significant demands regarding deferred maintenance,” said Ann Browne, associate vice-president (facilities).

“That’s why innovative, self-funded projects are ideal. This work toward energy and facility renewal will result in $28.4 million in capital investment in infrastructure and it is fully funded from the savings.”

In addition to infrastructure upgrades, the Memorial community will see many other benefits through the guaranteed program. These include reduced energy and operational costs; greater environmental stewardship; improved comfort and safety; improved learning environments; and minimized financial and technical risk.

“We are committed to using our available resources in a sustainable and responsible way.” — Ann Browne

The focus on sustainability and energy reduction is not new for Memorial. In 2007, the university established the Sustainability Office; in 2009, Memorial University signed the Sustainability Declaration.

“We are committed to using our available resources in a sustainable and responsible way, and we have a global responsibility to mitigate our environmental impact and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Ms. Browne. “These initiatives are the right thing to do and we look forward to the completion of this work.”

The energy performance contract will see guaranteed cumulative cost savings to the university over the 20-year term of almost $53 million.

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